NATIONAL NEWS

Georgia law will ban most transgender care for kids under 18

Mar 23, 2023, 12:30 PM | Updated: 1:52 pm

Jennifer Bowie, center left, and Aaron Baker, center right, become emotional while watching discuss...

Jennifer Bowie, center left, and Aaron Baker, center right, become emotional while watching discussion of SB 140 on a video monitor in the Capitol before it gets final approval at the state Senate in Atlanta, Tuesday, March 21, 2023. SB 140 would prevent medical professionals from giving transgender children certain hormones or surgical treatment. (Arvin Temkar/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(Arvin Temkar/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia will ban most gender-affirming surgeries and hormone replacement therapies for transgender people younger than 18, under a new law signed by Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday.

Legislators gave final approval to the law on Tuesday, despite impassioned pleas from Democrats and LGBTQ advocates against what has become the most fiercely contested bill of Georgia’s 2023 legislative session. The Republican governor signed the bill in private, without the ceremony he sometimes uses to celebrate new laws.

South Dakota have signed similar bills.

“I appreciate the many hours of respectful debate and deliberation by members of the General Assembly that resulted in final passage of this bill,” Kemp said in a statement. “As Georgians, parents and elected leaders, it is our highest responsibility to safeguard the bright, promising future of our kids — and SB 140 takes an important step in fulfilling that mission.”

Opponents say they believe the new law is an unconstitutional infringement on parents’ rights. The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia said it would “use every legal means at our disposal” to overturn the law shortly after Kemp signed it. Judges have — at least temporarily — blocked laws limiting gender-affirming treatment of transgender youth in Alabama.

“It’s disturbing how quickly the governor acts to sign bills that take away people’s rights,” ACLU of Georgia Executive Director Andrea Young said in a statement.

Doctors would still be able to prescribe medicines to block puberty under the Georgia law, which takes effect July 1. It also says that minors who are already receiving hormone therapy will be allowed to continue.

Supporters say the law’s restrictions prevent children from making decisions they might later regret. Cole Muzio, president of the conservative Christian group Frontline Policy Action, had pushed for even stronger prohibitions. While he applauded Kemp signing the measure, he also called it “one of the weakest in the country,” promising more efforts at restrictions.

“Gov. Kemp has never been afraid to protect children and we appreciate his continued commitment to standing against radical and harmful agendas,” Muzio said in a statement.

But opponents say the measure is founded on disinformation and a desire to open a new front in the culture war to please conservative Republican voters, arguing it attacks vulnerable children and intrudes on private medical decisions.

Critics said the measure will require physicians to violate medical standards of care and that Republicans had abandoned their previous support for parents’ rights to make choices.

“This legislation is a clear attack on the rights of transgender children, their parents, and the medical community in Georgia as a whole,” Jeff Graham, the executive director of LGBTQ-rights group Equality Georgia, said in a statement. “Parents, working in collaboration with their medical teams and adhering to standards of care, should be able to make decisions regarding their child’s healthcare.”

The bill was amended to remove a clause that specifically shielded physicians from criminal and civil liability. That change was pushed for by conservative groups that want people to be able to sue their doctor if they later regret their treatment, although it’s unclear how large that group might be.

Transgender youth and parents heavily lobbied against the bill in recent weeks, warning lawmakers were further marginalizing a group already prone to taking their own lives at disturbingly high rates.

Republicans denied they wish anyone harm, saying they had children’s best interest at heart and wanted people to be able to obtain counseling.

___

Follow Jeff Amy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jeffamy.

National News

Work continues on the roof of Gaido's restaurant in preparation for opening for diners for the firs...

Associated Press

In beachy Galveston, locals buckle down without power after Beryl’s blow during peak tourist season

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Vacuums sucked the water out of the seaside inn run by Nick Gaido’s family in Galveston since 1911 as power was still spotty nearly one week after a resurgent Hurricane Beryl swept into Texas. Blue tarp covered much of the torn off roof. Gaido scheduled cleanup shifts for the hotel and […]

7 hours ago

FILE - Balloons are hoisted to the ceiling in the Forum ahead of the 2024 Republican National Conve...

Associated Press

When does a presumptive nominee become a nominee? Here’s how Donald Trump will make it official

WASHINGTON (AP) — Monday 12:01 AM Nearly 2,500 delegates are gathering in Milwaukee this week for a roll call vote to select a the Republican presidential nominee, formally ending the presidential primary. It will be a moment lacking in suspense: Former President Donald Trump has already been the presumptive nominee for months, having clinched a […]

8 hours ago

Members of the Coalition to March on the RNC speak during a news conference ahead of the 2024 Repub...

Associated Press

GOP convention protests are on despite shooting at Trump rally

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Activists gathering in Milwaukee for the start of the Republican National Convention say the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump won’t affect their long-standing plans to demonstrate outside the convention site this week. A diverse range of organizations and activists is expected outside the downtown Fiserv Forum. The largest expected demonstration […]

8 hours ago

FILE - Actor Clint Eastwood speaks to an empty chair while addressing delegates during the Republic...

Associated Press

Floor fights, boos and a too-long kiss. How the dramatic and the bizarre define convention history

WASHINGTON (AP) — In 1948, the Republican and Democratic parties did something unthinkable in today’s climate of ferocious political animosity: They not only held their national conventions in the same city, but shared some of the props. Both gathered in Philadelphia, largely because its Municipal Auditorium had already been fitted with the wiring needed for […]

8 hours ago

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, ...

Associated Press

The RNC’s first day will still focus on the economy. Here’s what to know about Trump’s plans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump goes into the Republican National Convention with bold promises about the U.S. economy, but he has sketched out notably few details about how his plans would actually work. The convention’s first day is still expected to focus on the economy even after Saturday’s shooting at a Trump rally in Pennsylvania […]

8 hours ago

FILE - Wayne LaPierre arrives at court, Jan. 24, 2024, in New York. The second phase of the civil t...

Associated Press

Second phase of NRA civil trial over nonprofit’s spending set to open in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) — The second phase of the civil trial against the National Rifle Association and its top executives is set to begin Monday in Manhattan, with New York Attorney General Letitia James seeking an independent monitor to oversee the powerful gun rights group. The Democrat also is seeking to ban Wayne LaPierre, the […]

8 hours ago

Georgia law will ban most transgender care for kids under 18