Gov. Beshear Vetoes Anti-Trans "Parents' Rights" Bill

Mar 24, 2023 at 12:00 pm
Gov. Andy Beshear spoke at a fairness rally in Frankfort on Thursday.
Gov. Andy Beshear spoke at a fairness rally in Frankfort on Thursday. Photo by Sarah Ladd/Kentucky Lantern

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This story mentions suicide. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. The Trevor Project, which aims to end suicide among LGBTQ+ youth, also has trained counselors available around the clock. Reach them at 1-866-488-7386, via chat at https://www.thetrevorproject.org/get-help/, or by texting START to 678678. 

This story may be updated.


Democrat Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed a bill on Friday that would, among other things, ban gender-affirming care for Kentucky’s transgender minors.

Senate Bill 150 was passed by the Kentucky legislature in mid March.

Beshear’s veto was not surprising – in 2020 he became the first sitting Kentucky governor to attend an LGBTQ fairness rally. And, on the day the legislature passed Senate Bill 150, Beshear said he believed transition and other medical decisions for transgender youth should be between them and their parents.

The legislature has the option to override his veto.

In his veto statement, Beshear said the bill “allows too much government interference in personal healthcare issues and rips away the freedom of parents to make medical decisions for their children.”

It also, Beshear said,”turns educators and administrators into investigators” who “question parents and families about how students behave and/or refer to themselves and others.”

SB150 directs local school boards to make policies keeping people from using bathrooms, locker rooms or showers that “are reserved for students of a different biological sex.”  The bill also places new restrictions on sex education in public schools.

Sponsor Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, has said the measure protects the rights of parents.

Trans kids may have use of single-stall bathrooms or “controlled use” of staff facilities, the bill says. But they won’t have access to student bathrooms that don’t conform to their sex at birth when other students are using those facilities.

Beshear also cited high rates of suicidality among Kentucky’s LGBTQ+ youth in his veto explanation.

The Trevor Project, which aims to end suicide among LGBTQ+ youth, also reported in 2022 that 59% of Kentucky’s transgender and nonbinary kids considered suicide, and 24% tried to take their own lives.