Kentucky Adopts Worst Anti-Trans Law

Overriding the Democratic governor’s veto, the Kentucky legislature has passed sweeping legislation that dramatically curtails the rights of transgender youth. Twenty protesters were arrested, in a tense national context.

One more. Kentucky, a state in the middle-east of the United States, joined the dark anti-trans crusade which takes hold of part of the country, by promulgating a law on Wednesday which imposes severe rules and prohibitions on transgender minors, both in the school environment and in terms of medical support. Described by the major civil rights organization ACLU as “the worst anti-trans law in the country”, the text has sparked outrage from the LGBT community. Several rallies took place Wednesday evening in Kentucky, where about twenty demonstrators were arrested.

What Happened Wednesday Night?

After the veto put on the law at the end of last week by Democratic Governor Andy Beshear, the General Assembly of Kentucky, the name of the legislature of this state on the edge of the Midwest and the American South, voted on Wednesday to override it. . Unlike most US states, where this procedure requires a “super-majority”, only a simple majority is required in Kentucky. A formality for the elected Republicans, who largely control the two assemblies: the local House of Representatives adopted the text with 76 votes against 23, the Senate with 29 votes against 8.

“Kentucky will be on the wrong side of history,” Democratic Rep. Sarah Stalker lamented. A few days ago, Andy Beshear had warned against the adoption of this text and the risk of “Increase in suicides among young Kentucky people” that it posed. An argument taken up on Wednesday by the elected Democrat Daniel Grossberg, who did not hide his dismay. “Good people will die because of what we did here today,” he said. Before adding: “To the LBGT children who listen to us, it is not you the problem, it is the government which is broken.”

In the galleries of the local House of Representatives, protesters sang songs and refused to leave the premises. Twenty of them were arrested, while hundreds of others, waving signs “protect trans children”, demonstrated outside the local Capitol located in Frankfurt, the capital of Kentucky.

What Does The Law Contain?

This new law, which the ACLU and other LGBT defense organizations have already promised to fight in court, attacks the medical field in particular, by prohibiting minors from accessing gender transition care. In detail, the text “prohibits surgery, puberty blockers and hormonal therapy for children under 18”, summarizes the New York Times. The law also obliges doctors to end the treatment of minor patients who have already started a transition process, simply authorizing doctors to define a gradual cessation if they believe that there is a risk of “harming” the minor. “Trans kids are going to die because of this,” 17-year-old trans teenager Sun Pacyga, who was holding a “Our blood is on your hands” sign, told the AP on Wednesday night.

The other major part of the law concerns the school environment, which has become one of the favorite ideological battlefields of the Republicans. The text thus prohibits transgender people from using the toilets corresponding to their gender, authorizes teachers to refuse to use the preferred pronouns of transgender people and obliges schools to notify parents when questions of human sexuality are to be discussed. The law totally bans any mention of sexual orientation or gender identity, regardless of the age of the students.

In What Context Was it Adopted?

In the culture war that mobilizes American conservatives, the restriction of the rights of transgender people, especially young people, is a priority. From this point of view, and despite its radical nature, Kentucky’s law is part of a national movement: at least ten states including Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Georgia and Tennessee have already adopted similar laws, which prohibit gender transition for minors.

In recent days, another element has come to feed an already very tense context: the killing in a private Christian elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee, perpetrated by a 28-year-old trans man, who killed six people, including three students from nine years. If this tragedy has been added to the long list of school killings in the United States, fueled by the massive circulation of firearms, many Republican and conservative voices have used it to feed their transphobia. The conservative channel Fox News aired a segment entitled “The trans movement targets Christians”.

Figure of the hardest far-right fringe in Congress, the elected of Georgia, Marjorie Taylor Greene, gave free rein to her hatred towards the transgender community on social networks. “How much hormones and medication for mental illness did the Nashville transgender shooter take? Everyone can stop blaming the guns.” “In light of a transgender shooter targeting a Christian school and murdering children, every American should know the threat of antifa transterrorism,” she added. A message that led Twitter to suspend his account.

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