The Arkansas State Legislature on Tuesday voted to override Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson’s veto on legislation that bans gender reassignment surgeries and other treatments for “transgender” youths.
The HILL The majority-Republican state House voted 72 to 25 to approve the controversial bill before sending the legislation back to the state Senate, which rejected the governor’s veto of the bill in a 25-8 vote, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Both chambers required a simple majority to override the veto.
Under the bill, physicians are banned from giving gender confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to those younger than 18. The legislation also restricts doctors from giving recommendations to other providers for these treatments.
His refusal to sign the bill restricting treatment for transgender youth came after he signed a different piece of legislation last monthpreventing transgender women and girls (aka biological males) from participating on K-12 and collegiate-level sports teams aligned with their gender identity.
The American Civil Liberties Union has promised to file a lawsuit preventing the law from being enforced, with ACLU of Arkansas Executive Director Holly Dickson saying the legislators “disregarded widespread, overwhelming, and bipartisan opposition to this bill and continued their discriminatory crusade against trans youth.”
The Arkansas State Legislature’s overwhelming approval for the bill comes as lawmakers in several other states have proposed and advocated for bills that would limit transgender access, including in health care and sports teams.
The Arkansas-based group Family Council called the legislature’s move “the right decision.”
“This is really good news. Gender-reassignment surgeries can leave children sterilized and scarred for life. Medical researchers do not know the long-term effects these procedures and therapies can have on kids. That is why many people equate them with experimenting on children.
This good legislation will protect Arkansas’ children from sex-reassignment procedures.
We appreciate their leadership, their moral courage, and their resolve to do what is right. This is historic legislation. Arkansans ought to be proud of their leaders for doing the right thing by passing the SAFE Act into law.”