SB 150 veto message from Beshear; reaction from Republican Party, others
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed a bill Friday of a Republican measure aimed at regulating the lives of transgender youths that includes banning access to gender-affirming health care and restricting the bathrooms they can use.
Beshear said the bill takes away parents’ ability to make medical decisions for their children and turns educators into investigators at school.
His full statement is below:
“Senate Bill 150 allows too much government interference in personal healthcare issues and rips away the freedom of parents to make medical decisions for their children. Senate Bill 150 further strips freedom from parents to make personal family decisions on the names their children are called and how people should refer to them.
SB 150 also turns educators and administrators into investigators that must listen in on student conversations and then knock on doors to confront and question parents and families about how students behave and/or refer to-themselves or others.
I am also vetoing Senate Bill 150 because my faith teaches me that all children are children of God and Senate Bill 150 will endanger the children of Kentucky. In a 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ youth mental health, 45% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide in the past year and nearly 1 in 5 transgender youth attempted suicide. The American Medical Association reports that receipt of care dramatically reduces the rates of suicide attempts, decreases feelings of depression and anxiety, and reduces substance abuse. Improving access to gender-affirming care is an important means of improving health outcomes for the transgender population. Senate Bill 150 will cause an increase in suicide among Kentucky’s youth.
For these reasons, I am vetoing Senate Bill 150.”
Lawmakers are likely to override his veto.
Here are more statements about Beshear’s veto on SB 150:
Republican Party of Kentucky
“Most people agree that you need to be a certain age before participating in certain activities, like consuming alcohol or smoking cigarettes,” RPK spokesman Sean Southard said. “Not Andy Beshear. Andy Beshear thinks it’s okay for children to have access to life-altering sex change surgery and drugs before they turn 18. Today, he revealed how radical he truly is. Is Andy Beshear the Governor of Kentucky or California? Despite years of attempting to look like a moderate, he has shown that he will never stand up to the special left-wing interests that bankroll his campaign. Kentucky voters will have an opportunity this fall to rid our state of this far-left Governor and replace him with a Republican who will work to protect children. Once this campaign is over, today may very well be remembered as the day Andy Beshear lost his bid for re-election.”
The Family Foundation
“SB 150 simply allows Kentucky’s kids to be kids and ensures that their parents are empowered and aren’t kept in the dark. Kentuckians overwhelmingly support SB 150’s commonsense student privacy protections in restrooms and locker rooms, along with the right of parents to have a say in their child’s education. The off-label use of puberty blockers, along with cross-sex hormones and surgery, in experimental gender ‘transitions’ has no place in children’s healthcare – the irreversible harms that detransitioners have suffered testify to that.
It is deeply troubling, but frankly not surprising, that Gov. Beshear has refused to protect Kentucky’s children and their parents from these radical, politicized ideologies being pushed in education and in medicine. SB 150 will save the lives of Kentucky children by setting policy in alignment with the truth that every child is created as a biological male or female and deserves to be loved, treated with dignity, and accepted for who they really. We look forward to the General Assembly overriding Beshear’s shameful veto so that the Commonwealth’s children and their dignity can be protected.”
Attorney General Daniel Cameron, governor candidate
“Last week the General Assembly passed SB 150, and, unsurprisingly, Andy Beshear vetoed this bill today. If I were Governor I would have absolutely signed it. The media’s coverage on this bill has been shameful gaslighting and the action by our governor not only sets a dangerous precedent for our children’s future, but also endangers their health and well-being. Even many liberal European countries are putting the brakes on these surgeries and other gender therapies for minors. Meanwhile in America, Democrats call it extreme to oppose chemical castration and gender mutilation of minors. That is not care – it’s irreversible and is the exact opposite of how we should support children experiencing gender dysphoria or mental health struggles. My administration will protect our youth from dangerous ideologies and defend Kentucky’s values.”
Kelly Craft, governor candidate
“Time and time again, Governor Beshear has proven he is out of step with what Kentuckians are talking about at their kitchen tables: communication and engagement with their children’s schools. A Craft-Wise Administration will ensure our children are protected, make sure parents are heard, and empower teachers to focus on providing a world-class education that teaches our children how to think, not what to think.
As a mother and grandmother, I think the fact that we’re even having this conversation is insanity. This movement across the nation to impose radical gender ideology on our kids instead of improving reading, writing, and math skills, is wrong. We should not allow children to be subjected to these life-changing, irreversible surgeries and drugs. As Governor, I will fight any attempt to sexualize our children and rob them of their futures. It’s time we dismantle the Department of Education and start fresh. Governor Beshear doesn’t have the leadership to do it but the Craft-Wise Administration will deliver on that promise.”
ACLU of Kentucky
“The ACLU of Kentucky applauds Governor Andy Beshear’s veto of Senate Bill 150. By vetoing this hateful legislation, Governor Beshear has demonstrated his commitments to protect Kentucky parents’ rights to raise their children as they see fit, and to keep medical decisions where they belong: between providers and patients.
Transgender students already live and go to school in Kentucky, play sports, and enjoy time with their friends. They deserve the chance to succeed and thrive like any other student. The adults in the General Assembly should focus on what students, teachers, and schools really need, rather than single out vulnerable children to score cheap political points.
SB 150 was rushed through the legislative process in a shameful, secretive process at the 11th hour. Trans Kentuckians, medical and mental health professionals, and accredited professional associations pleaded with lawmakers to listen to the experts, not harmful rhetoric based in fear and hate. Their pleas fell on deaf ears as the general assembly passed the bill in a matter of hours.
We strongly urge all concerned Kentuckians to contact lawmakers and ask them to uphold Governor Beshear’s veto. The General Assembly will have the chance to override vetoes on March 29 and 30. Lawmakers can override a veto with only a constitutional majority.
We wrote to Governor Beshear urging him to veto Senate Bill 150 and outlining the Constitutional and personal harms this legislation could cause. His explanation for the veto can be found here.
To all the trans youth who may be affected by this legislation, we stand by you and we will not stop fighting. You are cherished. You are loved. You belong.”
Sen. Max Wise, sponsor of SB 150
“It should come as no surprise that Governor Beshear put his party’s politics over the people of Kentucky, as he has done his whole political career,” Wise said. “The goal of SB 150 is to strengthen parental engagement and communication in their children’s education. This bill, which passed the Senate with bipartisan support, reinforces a positive atmosphere in the classroom and removes unnecessary distractions, like woke ideology and mandating use of specific pronouns in our schools.
Parents should look at this veto as a slap in the face. It’s clear Governor Beshear cares more about woke ideologues and D.C. bureaucrats than parents and students here in Kentucky. I look forward to the legislature overriding this veto, and protecting children from the irreparable harm of gender transition surgeries by making SB 150 law.”
“We are so grateful Governor Andy Beshear chose to stand with Kentucky kids and their families today by vetoing Senate Bill 150. He has once again solidified his legacy as Kentucky’s most pro-equality governor. Labeled the ‘worst anti-trans bill in the nation,’ SB150 allows the government to overrule parental rights at every turn. It denies parents the right to provide medically-supported healthcare for their kids. It allows teachers and school administrators to disrespect students by ignoring their names and pronouns, despite a parent’s wishes. It bans the discussion of LGBTQ topics in the classroom and forces transgender kids into unsafe restrooms at school. SB150 will only lead to disaster and despair for transgender Kentucky kids and their families. That’s why thousands of Kentuckians sent messages opposing SB150 and countless Kentucky doctors showed up in Frankfort to testify against it. We urge state lawmakers to read the governor’s veto message, listen to medical professionals, and sustain Governor Beshear’s veto.”
Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, governor candidate
“In passing SB 150, the legislature sought to empower teachers and allow more parental involvement in education. By vetoing this bill, Andy has shown his views more closely align with the radical far-left rather than that of Kentuckians. Gender reassignment surgeries for children and minors should not be allowed in Kentucky and teachers should have certain protections in the classroom when it comes to their own personal beliefs.”
Kentucky Democratic Party
“If it becomes law, this bill will harm children. This bill prohibits parents from making healthcare choices that are in the best interest of their child’s well-being. There is an overwhelming amount of data that shows this will lead to more suicides among Kentucky kids. It is cruel and wrong and the Kentucky GOP, in their statement today, made it clear that they passed this bill to try to win an election. In vetoing this legislation, Governor Beshear is doing what he has always done: looking out for Kentucky children and families, and saving Kentucky lives.”
Beshear vetoes Senate Bill 150, a sweeping GOP transgender measure
Editor’s Note: This story will be periodically updated to include new statements emailed to ABC 36