Lawmakers override Beshear’s veto of ‘anti-trans’ bill amid protest

Lawmakers override Beshear’s veto of ‘anti-trans’ bill amid protest
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 11:36 AM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT/AP) - Kentucky lawmakers have overridden Governor Andy Beshear’s veto of the controversial Senate Bill 150 and the bill is now set to become law.

Lawmakers returned to the State Capitol Wednesday for the final days of the 2023 legislative session.

The Senate overrode Gov. Beshear’s veto with a 29 to 8 vote. The bill then went to the House and the veto was overridden in a vote of 76 to 23 amid vigorous protests that led to the appearance of law enforcement officers and the arrest of some of the protestors.

Activists on both sides of the impassioned debate gathered at the statehouse to make competing appeals shortly before lawmakers took up the transgender bill.

Proponents say Senate Bill 150 is needed to protect kids, but the opposition was very vocal in Frankfort when lawmakers returned Wednesday morning.

Hundreds of people, kids and adults, came from all over Kentucky to hold a rally Wednesday morning against what they say is anti-transgender legislation. Many wore multiple colors, some dressed up in costumes or in drag.

People say Senate Bill 150 and other bills will hurt kids and could even increase suicide. They say the bill will overrule parents’ rights and deny them medically supported health care.

Specifically, the bill language says it will prohibit sex change procedures and hormone treatments for kids. It will also not allow the mandated use of pronouns.

Supporters of SB 150 also held their own rally at the Capitol Wednesday. They call sex change procedures for children barbaric. They say the legislation is overwhelmingly supported by Kentuckians and ensures parents are not kept in the dark.

However, people in opposition to SB 150 say it’s hate and bans the discussion and practice of LGBTQ topics.

The debate is likely to spill over into this year’s gubernatorial campaign in Kentucky and could reach the courts if opponents follow through on a threat to mount a legal challenge against the bill.