Kentucky's General Assembly passed legislation dealing with transgender issues but Democratic Governor Andy Beshear vetoed it. In his veto message, Beshear argued the measure would endanger children's lives; he cited a survey indicating that nearly 1 in 5 trans youth attempted suicide in 2022 and nearly half of LGBTQ youth seriously considered it.
However, the Republican-led legislature was successful in overriding the veto – so it will now become law, making Kentucky the 12th state to protect children from what is mislabeled as "gender-affirming" medical care.
David Walls of the Kentucky Family Foundation contradicts the governor's argument that the measure endangers youngsters.
"SB 150 will protect Kentucky children by setting God-honoring public policy in alignment with the truth that every child is created as a male or female and deserves to be loved, treated with dignity and accepted for who they really are," he tells AFN. "Kentuckians overwhelmingly support SB 150's commonsense protections for student privacy in restrooms and locker rooms, along with strong parental rights protections in public education."
And most importantly, says Walls, it bars transgender medical treatments and horrific surgeries for minors. According to the family advocate, the pro-LGBT crowd went into an uproar as soon as the override vote was final.
"They were trying to disrupt in the chamber," he describes, "and we had to leave the chamber because they were clearing it out, trying to keep the LGBT protesters from shouting the legislature down and not allowing them to conduct their business. It's just really, really sad to see how confused some folks are."
At the same time, a bill to protect women in sports is gaining momentum in Texas.
It's the law … and it's commonsense
In the Lone Star State's regular session two years ago, lawmakers passed a bill prohibiting mixing of genders in sports for lower grades – in short, that boys would compete against boys and girls against girls. Mary Elizabeth Castle, director of government relations for Texas Values, tells AFN the legislature this session is trying to lend the same protections on a higher level.
"SB 15 is a very important bill because it ensures that college women athletes don't have their victories, scholarships, money and even future career opportunities stolen by men who want to participate in women's sports," she explains.
According to Castle, the bill – which has been passed by the Texas Senate (19-10) and now resides with the House – just conforms to existing federal law.
"It's commonsense that we have separate sports categories – and it's even the law," she adds. "Title IX says that we must have separate sports categories because of the biological differences between male and female and to ensure that women can have the same opportunity to succeed in sports and even in education."
Texas Values has labeled attempts by the state's Department of Education to redefine "sex" in Title IX to include gender identity as "biologically and legally incorrect." The group is hopeful SB 15 will move quickly out of the House committee to the floor for a successful vote so it can be sent to Governor Greg Abbott, who supports it.