Nebraska state Senator Megan Hunt is pulling no punches as she defends her 12-year-old transgender son against anti-trans legislation introduced by her Republican colleagues in that state’s unicameral legislature. Hunt has joined her fellow Democratic state senator, Michaela Cavanaugh who made national headlines last month by threatening to “burn the [legislative] session down” if the legislation, which denies gender-affirming care to trans youth, is not withdrawn.
Like Cavanaugh, Sen. Hunt has made it clear to her fellow GOP legislators that the issue is quite personal for her. As reported by Samaa Khullar for Salon:
"My son is trans," Hunt said of her 12-year-old child, who she says has been unable to attain gender-affirming care. "And this bill, colleagues, is such an affront to me personally and would violate my rights to parent my child in Nebraska."
RELATED STORY: 'I will not be stopped': A Nebraska state senator is a role model in the fight to protect trans kids
LB 574, or the “Let Them Grow” act, as it is dubbed, would bar physicians in Nebraska from providing gender-affirming (such as puberty blockers and hormones) care to those under age 19. Despite the efforts of Sen. Cavanaugh, who began filibustering LB 574 in February, the legislation advanced last week to a second of three scheduled rounds of debate. Both Sens. Hunt and Cavanaugh have vowed to filibuster every bill introduced by the legislature for the remainder of the session, which ends in June. On Thursday Sen. Hunt warned her fellow legislators that if LB 574 Bill is passed, they can expect to accomplish nothing else this session, whether it is legislation introduced by Republicans or Democrats in that chamber: “All your bills are on the chopping block,” she said, “and the bridge is burned.”
"People have said, 'What if we go after your bills? What if we put a bunch of bills introduced by progressives up on the agenda? Are you going to filibuster those, too?' Yes, because we're not like you," Hunt explained. "We have a principle and a value that actually matters that much to us that we're willing to stand up for."
Sen. Hunt also had some choice words aimed directly at her GOP colleagues:
"Don't say hi to me in the hall, don't ask me how my weekend was, don't walk by my desk and ask me anything. Don't send me Christmas cards ― take me off the list," Hunt warned. "No one in the world holds a grudge like me, and no one in the world cares less about being petty than me. I don't care. I don't like you."
As reported by Ben Blanchet for HuffPost, Sen. Hunt read a statement prepared by her son in opposition to the legislation during the legislature’s session last week.
As Khullar reports, two other Democratic Nebraska state senators, Danielle Conrad and Jen Day, have also joined the filibuster.
LB 574 is one of hundreds of anti-trans bills being introduced across the country this year, as Republicans continue their efforts to score political points by attacking the transgender community. Their ultimate goal is to pass national legislation at the federal level which would in effect “erase” transgender people from recognition by the federal government.
House Republicans pass 'parents rights bill' opening way for book bans, restrictions on trans kids
Sign the petition: We need a state-by-state effort to protect LGBTQ people
Arkansas restricts school bathroom use by transgender people
Americans broadly reject Republican attacks on transgender freedoms
Secret four-year-long plan for anti-trans laws by conservative groups is revealed