Louisiana lawmakers approve anti-LGBTQ+ bills that include ban on trans care for minors

Jun 6, 2023, 1:19 PM

FILE - The Louisiana state Capitol stands on April 4, 2023, in Baton Rouge, La. In a victory for th...

FILE - The Louisiana state Capitol stands on April 4, 2023, in Baton Rouge, La. In a victory for the transgender community, and bucking the trend of other reliably red states, a Republican-controlled Louisiana legislative committee voted to a kill a bill Wednesday, May 24, 2023, that would have banned gender-affirming medical care for minors. (AP Photo/Stephen Smith, File)

(AP Photo/Stephen Smith, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana is poised to become the latest state to enact laws targeting the LGBTQ+ community, after the Republican-controlled Legislature on Tuesday sent a package to the Democratic governor that includes a ban on gender-affirming care for minors.

The Legislature also overwhelming passed Louisiana’s version of a “Don’t Say Gay” bill and a measure outlining pronoun usage for students.

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards opposes the legislation, but has not said whether he would veto the bills. Republicans hold a veto-proof majority in the Legislature, and the bills passed largely along party lines. Last year, Edwards chose not to block a Louisiana law banning transgender athletes from participating in women and girls sports competitions, saying it was clear a veto would be overridden.

Debate in the Legislature over the transgender care measure was marred by misinformation, religious arguments, hours of emotional testimony from the LGBTQ+ community, and a dramatic bills targeting the transgender community have topped conservative agendas. Louisiana’s measure would take effect Jan. 1.

This year alone, more than 525 anti-LGBTQ+ bill have been introduced in 41 states, according to HRC declared a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people in the U.S., releasing a guidebook containing resources to help people relocate to states with stronger LGBTQ+ protections.

Republicans maintain that they are trying to protect children by banning care that can include puberty blockers, hormone treatment and surgery. Opponents argue it would do the opposite, leading to heightened risks of stress, depression and suicidal thoughts among an already vulnerable group.

Gender-affirming care for transgender children has been available in the United States for more than a decade and is endorsed by major medical associations.

Yet at least 19 states have now enacted laws restricting or banning it for transgender minors: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, South Dakota and West Virginia. A federal judge temporarily blocked portions of Florida’s new law Tuesday in a ruling narrowly focused on three children whose parents sued.

Federal judges have blocked enforcement of laws in Alabama and Arkansas, and Oklahoma has agreed to not enforce its ban while opponents seek a temporary court order blocking it. Several other states are considering bills this year to restrict or ban care. A proposed ban is pending before Missouri’s governor.

Opponents of a Louisiana ban, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, are urging Edwards to veto it.

“Our state should be a safe place to raise a child, and this law threatens to deny transgender youth the safety and dignity they deserve,” the organization said in a written statement Monday. “This extreme government overreach harms everyone in our state, especially transgender Louisianans, and we all deserve better.”

Another bill passed by the Legislature would a law enacted in Florida last year that critics dubbed, “Don’t Say Gay.” So far, three other states — Alabama, Arkansas and Iowa — have enated similar similar “Don’t Say Gay” laws, according to HRC.

Additionally, Louisiana lawmakers passed legislation requiring public school teachers to use the pronouns and name that align with a student’s sex assigned at birth. Under the bill, a parent can give written consent for pronouns, not consistent with the student’s sex assigned at birth, to be used. However a teacher can override the parent’s request “if doing so would violate the employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Other statehouses across the U.S. are considering similar legislation, which would formally allow or require schools to deadname transgender students or could out them to their parents without consent. Deadnaming refers to using the name a transgender person used prior to transitioning.

National News

Associated Press

186.000 migrants and refugees arrived in southern Europe so far this year, most in Italy, UN says

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. refugee agency said Thursday that some 186,000 migrants and refugees arrived in southern Europe so far this year, the vast majority in Italy. Between January and Sept. 24, over 2,500 people seeking to cross the Mediterranean were found dead or are still missing, a significant increase from the 1,680 […]

13 minutes ago

Associated Press

Hawaii Army base under lockdown after man with handgun gets into scuffle, flees; no shots fired

HONOLULU (AP) — An Army base in Hawaii went into lockdown Thursday after a man with a handgun got into a scuffle while trying to talk to soldiers and then fled, officials said. No shots were fired, said Michael Donnelly, a spokesperson for U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii, but the Army was treating it as an […]

59 minutes ago

Associated Press

Navy issues written reprimands for fuel spill that sickened 6,000 people at Pearl Harbor base

HONOLULU (AP) — The Navy on Thursday issued written reprimands to three now-retired military officers for their roles in the spill of jet fuel into Pearl Harbor’s drinking water in 2021 but did not fire, suspend, dock the pay or reduce the rank of anyone for the incident. The spill from the Red Hill Bulk […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

California man who shot two sheriff’s deputies in revenge attack convicted of attempted murder

COMPTON, Calif. (AP) — A Compton man who shot and seriously wounded two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies in a 2020 revenge attack as they sat in a patrol car was convicted Thursday of attempted murder and could face life in prison. Deonte Lee Murray, 39, also was convicted of carjacking, robbery and other charges […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Louisiana citrus farmers are seeing a mass influx of salt water that could threaten seedlings

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Commercial citrus growers have dwindled over the past few decades in south Louisiana, where farmers have had to battle hurricanes, flooding, invasive insects, freezes and drought to keep their groves alive. The latest hurdle comes from a slow-moving threat — a mass influx of salt water from the Gulf of […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Truck gets wedged in tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn after ignoring warnings

NEW YORK (AP) — A driver who took an 18-wheel tractor-trailer inside a tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn on Thursday despite height restriction warnings got wedged in, officials said, causing a massive traffic jam until early afternoon when emergency personnel were able to remove it. The truck driver entered the Hugh L. Carey tunnel going […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Louisiana lawmakers approve anti-LGBTQ+ bills that include ban on trans care for minors