FRANKFORT, Ky. — A controversial anti-trans bill will become law in Kentucky without the support of Gov. Andy Beshear (D-KY).
Following a session-long back and forth on the matter, Senate Bill 150 will now become law.
SB150 essentially bans gender affirming care for children. Students in schools would also be required to use the bathroom, aligned with their gender at birth. School staff would also not be required to use a student's requested pronouns.
The Senate voted 29-8 to override the governor's veto. The measure then went to the House for consideration, where lawmakers voted 76-23 to overide the veto.
Reaction to the vote was quick. ACLU-KY Executive Director Amber Duke said in a statement to Spectrum News 1, "SB 150 was rushed through the legislature in a deliberately secretive process at the 11th hour. Trans Kentuckians, medical and mental health professionals, and accredited professional associations pleaded with lawmakers to listen to the experts, not harmful rhetoric based in fear and hate. Their pleas fell on deaf ears as the general assembly passed the bill in a matter of hours."
Kentucky State Police removed 19 protestors from the Capitol. They were taken to the State Police Academy to be cited and transported next door to the Franklin County Jail. They are all facing trespassing charges.
Chris Hartman, Executive Director of the Fairness Campaign addressed the protesters who had to be removed from the House, saying, "I applaud the brave protesters who stood their ground in the Kentucky House gallery today before being removed by Kentucky State Troopers. Their chants and pain were heard by all in the chamber and were a necessary show of the grief and harm Senate Bill 150 will cause. Transgender children and their families in Kentucky are scared, rightfully so. We will do all we can to ensure they can continue to access the life-saving medical care they deserve. "
Ahead of the veto override, hundreds of people filled the state Capitol grounds to demonstrate against Senate Bill 150.
Several students spoke to the crowd, including 15-year-old Apollo Walker from Richmond.
Walker said, “Even in my own family, I have people that don’t love me or respect me for who I am. I face it every day at school, I get threatened, I get made fun of and that’s stupid to me. Nobody should have to be here today fighting for basic human rights. It’s just stupid.”
Walker was far from the only young person in the crowd. Several students were on spring break or took the day off from school to be in Frankfort.
Olivia Obrian Brown said, “It feels good. It’s a little concerning that this many people have to be out here to protest this, but it’s good that there are this many people out here.”
Inside the Capitol Rotunda, Christian-based lobbying group — The Family Foundation — rallied lawmakers who helped write Senate Bill 150, which supporters of the measure call a parental rights bill.
Rep. Josh Calloway (R-Irvington) said, ‘’God gave us our children and we should have the right and we do have the responsibility to make sure that they are taught the things we want them taught, not taught the things that we don’t want them taught, and we should have the say at every part of their life, and that is what this legislation is about”
Dozens of anti-SB150 demonstrators filled the Capitol as lawmakers overruled the governor’s veto.
Those who oppose SB150 call it dangerous, saying it will be harmful to transgender youth in the commonwealth.
Republican lawmakers hold a supermajority in both the State House and Senate. This means they have enough votes to override the bill which the governor has vetoed over the last ten days.