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Louisiana governor vows to veto every anti-LGBTQ+ bill sent to his desk

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards Photo: Batch1928 44/via Wikipedia

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) has said he will veto three bills that target LGBTQ+ youth and vowed to veto any other anti-LGBTQ+ bills sent to his desk.

Edwards compared the Republican attempts to target the LGBTQ+ community with opposition to the Civil Rights Movement.

“On those issues, the judgment of history… will be very clear. It will be as clear as the judgment of history has been on those who didn’t want civil rights in the ’50s.” Edwards said during a press conference announcing that he would veto the current bills. “I’m not going to wait until then to say it’s wrong. My judgment today is those bills are wrong.”

All three bills target queer youth and schools.

H.B. 466, Republicans’ attempt to mimic Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, would ban discussing or mentioning sexual orientation, gender identity, or “pronouns” in schools. While Florida’s law bans such discussions through the eighth grade, Louisiana’s version would apply through twelfth grade.

H.B. 81 would require school employees to use the pronouns and names that match the gender marker on a student’s birth certificate unless a parent requests otherwise. Even then, a teacher doesn’t have to respect the parent and student’s request if they claim they have a “religious or moral conviction” to treating the student with respect.

H.B. 648 would ban doctors and nurses from prescribing transgender youth proper medical treatment like hormone therapy or gender-affirming care.

All major medical associations have condemned similar measures, saying the draconian laws will damage LGBTQ+ youths’ mental and physical health. Gender-affirming care is safe and recommended by organizations.

“Some of these bills affect three dozen people in our entire state,” Edwards said. “All of a sudden, these are things we just have to do? I reject that.”

Legislators can override the veto with a two-thirds vote in both chambers. Republicans hold the majority in both the state Senate and House of Representatives.

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