Kentucky’s Republican-led legislature has overridden Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of a sweeping anti-transgender bill.
Kentucky’s S.B. 150, an omnibus legislation covering a raft of anti-trans restrictions and bans, was expanded and passed by Kentucky lawmakers earlier this month. Included in the bill are bans on gender-affirming surgeries, puberty blockers, and hormone therapy for minors, as well as a mandate that doctors stop treating young patients who are currently receiving gender-affirming care.
It also bans Kentucky teachers from using pronouns that “do not conform to a student’s biological sex as indicated on the student’s original, unedited birth certificate,” bans instruction on sexuality in grades K through six, and bans discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation at all grade levels.
Beshear vetoed the bill on March 24. In a statement, he said that the bill “strips freedom from parents to make personal family decisions” and that it would “cause an increase in suicide among Kentucky’s youth.” He also said that the bill would turn teachers into “investigators” who would pry into students’ lives.
On Wednesday, Kentucky’s Republican-dominated legislature voted to override Beshear’s veto. The move was widely expected and is not the first time the state’s legislature has overridden Beshear’s veto of an anti-trans law. Last year, the governor vetoed a bill banning transgender girls from participating in school sports. The Kentucky General Assembly later voted to override the veto.
The ACLU of Kentucky (ACLU-KY) previously vowed to fight S.B. 150 in court should it become law. On Wednesday, ACLU-KY executive director Amber Duke released a statement calling the bill “another shameful attack on LGBTQ youth in Kentucky.”
“S.B. 150 was rushed through the legislature in a deliberately secretive process at the 11th hour,” Duke said. “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.”
She also noted that the bill’s healthcare provisions don’t go into effect until late June. “Trans youth can still receive care until that portion of the bill takes effect,” Duke said, “And we intend to take this fight to the courts to make sure Kentuckians’ right to that care will continue.”