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Gov. Beshear indicates disapproval of bill critics say is anti-LGBTQ

Voting Rights Kentucky
Posted at 5:30 PM, Mar 20, 2023

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — On Monday, Governor Andy Beshear wouldn't directly say what his plans are for Senate Bill 150, but he indicated he disapproves of the bill.

Senate Bill 150 bans gender-affirming care for transgender minors. It would outlaw gender reassignment surgery for anyone under 18, as well as the use of puberty blockers and hormones, and inpatient and outpatient gender-affirming hospital services. It would also not allow schools to discuss sexual orientation or gender identity with students of any age.

The bill also allows teachers to refuse to refer to transgender students by their preferred pronouns and requires schools to notify parents when lessons related to human sexuality are going to be taught.

"I believe that very personal medical decisions should be able to be made by families," said Gov. Beshear. "And what Senate Bill 150, which people are calling the anti-trans bill, does is it tears away a parent's right to make very personal medical decisions for their kids. And big government steps in and makes the decision, across the board, for everyone."

"The other thing I believe is that every child is a child of God," added Gov. Beshear. "Every single one. And we know from all the statistics that this type of bill will lead to an increase in teen suicides in Kentucky. I can tell you I will never be able to support a bill that will lead to an increase in suicides."

The bill’s supporters say they are trying to protect children from undertaking gender-affirming treatments that they might later regret as adults.

“We’re talking about removing healthy body parts that you cannot put back on,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Tichenor said in supporting the bill on Thursday. “I’ve seen the pictures. It’s horrifying.”

“Our job is to protect children, and that’s what we’re doing here," said Republican House Speaker Pro Tempore David Meade on Thursday.

“Surgery or drugs that completely alter their life, and alter their body, is not something we should be allowing until they are adults,” Meade added.

Opponents believe the measure is an attack on the LGBTQ community.

“Legislators cannot erase transgender people from existence, and we will continue to fight for equal rights and equal protection under the law,” said Amber Duke, the organization’s interim executive director.