Louisiana Legislature Overrides Veto, Protects Minors From Gender Transitioning

In a move that demonstrated the commitment to protecting the well-being of minors, Louisiana legislators overturned Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards’ ill-advised veto on the gender-transition care ban for transgender minors. The decision paves the way for a law that would prohibit minors from receiving hormone therapy, puberty blockers, and gender-transition surgical procedures.

Spearheaded by Rep. Gabe Firment (R-LA), the legislation aims to prohibit doctors from prescribing hormone therapy, puberty blockers and gender-transition surgeries to minors. It passed through the House and the Senate in June. 

However, legislators’ efforts faced a setback when Edwards vetoed the bill, causing disappointment among Republicans who understood the significance of this legislation.

On Tuesday, the GOP-led Legislature convened at the Capitol for a brief one-day veto session during which they successfully overrode the governor’s veto with an impressive 75-23 majority in the House. The State Senate also approved the override.

Emphasizing the necessity of this law, Firment expressed concerns about neighboring southern states potentially turning Louisiana into a hub for transgender medical care for young children. “If we don’t pass this bill, Louisiana will become the destination for children across the entire South to undergo these life-altering and irreversible medical experiments,” he warned.

However, Democrats have criticized Republicans, claiming they are focusing on an issue that doesn’t require attention. They argue that the legislation will increase the risks of stress, depression, and suicidal thoughts among an already vulnerable group. 

In his veto message, Edwards expressed his opposition to the bill, accusing it of prioritizing” politics over people.”

He even questioned the legislature’s authority, stating, “I firmly believe that the legislature has overstepped its authority and is interfering in critical healthcare decisions that only parents should make in consultation with their children and their children’s physicians and psychologists.”

While Edwards has vowed to challenge the law in court, Republicans believe it is a necessary step to protect vulnerable children, their families, and the healthcare professionals who prioritize their well-being.

Come Jan. 1, 2024, Louisiana will join the ranks of 19 other states, including Florida, Idaho and Montana, which have enacted laws restricting or prohibiting gender-affirming medical care such as puberty blockers, hormone treatment, and gender reassignment surgeries for minors.