Kentucky became the 13th state to ban puberty-blocking drugs and sex-change surgeries for minors on Wednesday when the Republican-led legislature voted to override Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of a Senate Bill banning such treatments.
The Senate voted 29-8, and the House voted 76-23. The bill, which lawmakers overwhelmingly passed earlier this month, bans sex-change surgeries and puberty blockers for people under the age of 18.
According to The Christian Post, the measure also prohibits the state’s Department of Education from requiring school faculty and staff to use the preferred pronouns of transgender youth. Further, it bans the study of “gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation” in schools and requires students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their biological sex.
Kentucky state police arrested 19 protestors and charged them with third-degree criminal trespassing after they entered the House gallery and disrupted the proceedings on Wednesday.
“I think it’s unfortunate that it reached that level, and certainly they were given, as I’ve been told since then, multiple opportunities to either quiet their chants or to leave voluntarily,” Republican House Speaker David Osborne said, according to Politico.
Terry Schilling, president of the conservative American Principles Project, celebrated the bill’s passage, noting that many children “have been indoctrinated with the spurious idea that they can be ‘born in the wrong body’ and encouraged to respond to any discomfort with their identity by pursuing life-altering, dangerous drugs and medical procedures.”
“As we’ve seen this week, this ideological assault on our society has the potential to produce deadly consequences. Lawmakers are not only right to respond; they have an obligation to do so,” Schilling said in a statement.
“We are grateful to Kentucky legislators for standing firm and passing this strong law to protect their state’s children and families, despite Gov. Beshear’s disgraceful decision to veto it. And we look forward to even more states taking similar actions in the coming days,” Schillings concluded.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, however, condemned the GOP lawmaker’s votes to override Beshear’s veto and asserted they would take legal action against the new measure.
“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,” ACLU-KY Executive Director Amber Duke said in a statement.
“To all the trans youth who may be affected by this legislation: we stand by you, and we will not stop fighting. You are cherished. You are loved. You belong. To the commonwealth: we will see you in court.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Apeyron
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.