Letter from UK HealthCare escalates debate on gender-affirming care in Kentucky

On Monday, Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s campaign shared a letter from UK Healthcare addressed to Republican Representative James Tipton.
Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 4:26 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KENTUCKY (WKYT) - Gender-affirming care has been a hot-button topic in the Commonwealth all year.

Now, a letter from UK HealthCare is sparking continued debates on the topic as it relates to the governor’s race.

On Monday, Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s campaign shared a letter from UK HealthCare addressed to Republican Representative James Tipton.


The letter states UK’s Transform Clinic “has in recent years performed a small number of non-genital gender reassignment surgeries on minors.” adding that the clinic does not perform genital reassignment surgery on minors.

WKYT is working to independently get this letter from UK. In the meantime, they sent us a statement confirming this information, adding that the number of surgeries performed is “so small that providing a number would potentially identify a patient.”

Cameron’s statement claims Governor Beshear “can’t stop lying about gender reassignment surgery for minors.” As Beshear has previously stated, these procedures don’t happen in Kentucky.

A spokesperson for Beshear’s campaign told us, “No reports from the medical community of such surgeries have been provided to the Governor’s Office.”

“Often information doesn’t flow to the top, so you can have a leader say ‘this isn’t going on here,’ and later on they find out from someone lower down in the chain ‘yeah actually, it is,’” said UK political science professor Dr. Stephen Voss.

The letter is postmarked “March 2,” leading some to question why it wasn’t released until now. A portion of the letter was read by Sen. Lindsey Tichenor, R-Smithfield on the Senate floor on March 29.

“This letter should have been presented to during the bill’s passage,” said Ban Conversion Therapy Kentucky Government Affairs Director Michael Frazier.

Michael Frazier is a Republican LGBTQ advocate.

“For them to release this them being a campaign and then our General Assembly to feel the need to release this for political expediency on a race instead of when this issue mattered during the passage of these bills, it’s highly distasteful,” said Frazier.

In a statement to WKYT, spokesperson for the Republican Party of Kentucky, Sean Southard, said, “Andy Beshear’s team says he checked with the Fairness Campaign instead of the hospital to see if gender reassignment surgeries for minors were taking place. That’s absurd.”