Kentucky state Rep. Pamela Stevenson gave an Oscar-worthy speech, dropping the mic on the sponsors of a bill that restricts gender-affirming care for transgender children.
Kentucky’s HB 470 passed in a 75-22 vote after approval by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill limits medical care related to gender transition services for minors and punishes providers who assist their minor patients.
Monday, Stevenson delivered a blistering testimony opposing the bill. “I’m not even sure how we got here, but as a 27-year military veteran, I fought so that all people could have freedoms, not just the ones I liked,” said Stevenson, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel.
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Rep. Jennifer Decker co-sponsored HB470. She said that she wrote it to protect children from “irreparable damage,” Go Magazine reports.
“Don’t tell me it’s about irreparable harm because you’re not doing anything for the children that are hungry,” Stevenson said.
“You’re not doing anything for the children that are in foster care being abused. You’re not doing what needs to be done for the little black kids who are experiencing racism every day. It is not for irreparable harm. It’s because they are not like you. And as a mother, how dare you interfere with one of the most intimate relationships.”
The bill additionally prohibits “a public school counselor, school-based mental health services provider, or another public employee from aiding or assisting in the provision of gender transition services for a person under the age of 18 years.”
Stevenson finished by saying, “If you were really, really concerned about children, I could give you 100 other things you could do to make sure that every kid in Kentucky thrives. Let’s try giving them water out in the rural areas, portable water. Let’s try Medicare and Medicaid, so they can go to the doctor. Let’s try getting the kids off the street that are homeless and sleeping with snow as a blanket. I was born at night, but not last night. This is not about what you say it is.”
Republican-led states across the nation have declared a culture war on transgender people and the LGBTQ community, not to mention their efforts to ban books and walk back reproductive justice.
But at the moment, it seems the focus is clear: Gender-affirming services are the target.
Monday, Georgia’s state Senate passed SB 140 with a vote of 33-32 in favor of banning health care professionals from delivering surgical or hormonal treatment to transgender minors, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
The bill does not ban doctors from prescribing medication that slows or stops puberty, but it does ban surgeons from performing gender-affirming procedures and from giving hormones to minors.
Georgia joins at least four other states with gender-affirming care in their crosshairs.
What do Americans really think about the issues? It turns out they are a surprisingly liberal bunch, as Rachael Russell of Navigator Research tells us on this week's episode of The Downballot. Russell explains how Navigator conducts in-depth research to fill in gaps in policy debates with hard data instead of pundit speculation. The challenge for Democrats is that many voters say they hold progressive beliefs but still pull the lever for Republicans. That imbalance, however, presents an opportunity—Democrats just have to seize it.
Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard also recap the first round of voting in the race for Chicago mayor, which saw a progressive apocalypse averted; the resolution to the long-running uncertainty over the speakership in the Pennsylvania state House that saw Joanna McClinton make history; Rep. Elissa Slotkin's entry into Michigan's open Senate race, which makes her the first prominent candidate to run; and the inexplicable decision by conservatives to go dark on the airwaves for a full week following last week's primary in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race.