Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, a
Republican, said on Monday that he had vetoed a bill that seeks to
ban access to gender-affirming care for transgender youth.
Hutchinson said that House Bill 1570
was “well-intended but off course” and “overbroad.”
“We are creating new standards of
legislating interference for physicians and parents as they deal with
some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young
people,” the governor told reporters during a news conference.
The legislature, which is controlled by
Republicans, has enough votes to override Hutchinson's veto.
Hutchinson called on lawmakers to come up with a “more restrained
approach” to the issue.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, called the bill “too
extreme” for Hutchinson.
“This unprecedented bill, which would
have denied medically-necessary and potentially life-saving
gender-affirming care to transgender children was too extreme, even
for Governor Asa Hutchinson,” HRC President Alphonso David said in
a statement. “Even after signing other anti-LGBTQ and
anti-transgender bills into law, Governor Hutchinson balked – he
heard from a chorus of supporters of equality to veto this bill which
was unpopular among Republicans, Independents, and Democrats alike.
This ought to be a warning to any governor across the country
considering bills like HB 1570. The repercussions were too much for
Arkansas, and they will be just as severe for any state weighing this
type of legislation.”
Last month, Hutchinson signed a bill
into law that bars transgender girls and women from participating in
female sports. Hutchinson also recently signed a bill that allows
doctors to refuse to treat a patient based on their religious or
moral objections. Opponents have said that the law will allow
providers to turn away patients who identify as LGBT.
Similar bills are advancing in Alabama