Arkansas lawmakers on Tuesday voted to
override Governor Asa Hutchinson's veto of a bill that bans
gender-affirming care for transgender youth, making Arkansas the
first state with such a ban.
All voting to override the governor's
veto of House Bill 1570 were Republicans.
The legislation cleared the Senate with
a 25-8 vote and the House with a 71-24 vote. Three Republicans in the
House voted against overriding the veto.
In vetoing the bill on Monday,
Hutchinson called the bill “overbroad” and “extreme.”
“This bill is overbroad, extreme, and
does not grandfather those young people who are currently under
hormone treatment,” he said.
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.
The ACLU of Arkansas said that it would
challenge the law in court.
“The Arkansas Legislature has ignored
dozens of local doctors and national medical experts, as well as
trans youth and their parents,” Chase Strangio, deputy director for
transgender justice with the ACLU's LGBTQ & HIV Project, said in
a statement. “This bill will drive families, doctors and businesses
out of the state and send a terrible and heartbreaking message to the
transgender young people who are watching in fear. Gender-affirming
care is life-saving care and banning that care will have devastating
and in some cases deadly consequences.”
“Trans youth in Arkansas: We will
continue to fight for you. The ACLU is preparing litigation as we
speak. ACLU supporters from around the country spoke out against this
bill. We will always have your back and will be relentless in our
defense of your rights,” he added.
The new law will take effect 90 days
after the last day of the legislative session.