Louisiana Senate passes bill banning gender-affirming care

Law Firm News

A controversial bill — that at one point had been presumed dead — banning gender-affirming medical care for transgender youths in Louisiana was passed by the Senate on Monday and is likely to reach the governor’s desk in the coming days.

The bill, which passed in the Senate mainly along party lines, 29-10, would prohibit hormone treatments, gender-affirming surgery and puberty-blocking drugs for transgender minors in Louisiana. The measure will go back to the House, which has already overwhelmingly passed the legislation, to approve of minor amendments, including pushing back the effective date of the law to Jan. 1, 2024.

If the House concurs, the legislation would be sent to the desk of Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat who opposes it. Edwards has not said whether he would veto the bill. If he does, lawmakers could convene a veto session to try to override his decision. Last session, Edwards chose not to block a law banning transgender athletes from participating in women and girls sports competitions in Louisiana, although he successfully vetoed a similar measure the year before.

The proposed gender-affirming care ban gained national attention last month when a Senate committee voted to kill the bill. Longtime Republican state Sen. Fred Mills was the tiebreaker vote, opposing the legislation citing that he “relied on science and data and not political or societal pressures.”

In a year when restrictions and prohibitions on gender-affirming care for transgender youths has been a priority on conservative agendas — with at least 18 states enacting laws limiting or banning the medical care, including all three of Louisiana’s bordering states — the rejection of the controversial legislation did not go unnoticed.

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