Arkansas' GOP Governor Vetoes Anti-Transgender Bill

Ruben Hill
Апреля 7, 2021

The governor said the bill would create a new standard of "legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people".

"The bill is overbroad, extreme and does not grandfather those young people who are now under hormone treatment", Hutchinson said. If the bill becomes law, it will criminalise medical professionals who offer gender affirming treatments such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy to transgender minors.

Hutchinson's shock intervention may not be the end of the road for House Bill 1570 - as the governor pointed out in his address, the general assembly can override his veto with a simple majority.

Sponsors of the measure did not say when they planned to seek an override or whether they had enough votes secured to enact the measure despite Hutchinson's objection.

'These children need to be protected, ' Republican Rep Robin Lundstrum told reporters.

Hutchinson said he is "hopeful" his intervention will push Republican lawmakers to "think through the issue again" and come up with "a more restrained" bill. Conservative groups urged the legislature to enact the ban.

As Governor Hutchinson noted in his veto message, denying care to trans youth can lead to harmful and life-threatening consequences.

In March, Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson signed into a law a ban on trans women and girls competing in women's sports, while MS governor Tate Reeves signed a similar bill just weeks before.

The ban was enacted during a year in which bills targeting transgender people have advanced easily in Arkansas and other states. Hutchinson recently signed legislation banning transgender women and girls from competing on teams consistent with their gender identity, a prohibition that also has been enacted in Tennessee and MS this year.

South Dakota's legislature passed a ban on transgender women playing on women's sports team, but Republican Governor Kristi Noem said she did not believe the bills would survive legal challenges, and she instead issued a ban last week by executive order.

She issued an executive order immediately after the bill died that pushed public schools to issue bans, but critics say the order is merely a recommendation meant to salvage her reputation with social conservatives.

At least 25 states have seen similar measures proposed.

One bill lets doctors refuse treatment for patients based on religious or moral objections - a move that critics said would allow for LGBT people to be turned away. He said he would have signed the bill if it had focused only on gender confirming surgery, which now isn't performed on minors in the state. We are committed to doing all we can to support these families and ensure they know how to continue to fight for their rights and get the care and resources they need.

It isn't the first time Hutchinson has pushed back on measures targeting the LGBTQ community.

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