BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is standing firm, saying he will not support legislation that keeps transgender individuals from getting medical treatment or playing on the athletic team that matches their gender identity.
“The idea that the weight of the state would be put behind something that to me is unnecessary and discriminatory,” Gov. Edwards said.
One proposal by State Senator Mike Fesi would require parental consent for transgender children to get gender-affirming therapy, puberty blockers, or receive hormones. Parents like Cathleen Hyde think the bill is outrageous.
“The hypocrisy of we need to be involved in your personal medical decisions with you and your child’s doctor,” Hyde said. “There’s no other medical conditions or treatments that you gotta require two parents to consent.”
Hyde has a child who identifies as non-binary, meaning they don’t identify as male or female. She says bills like Fesi’s are unwarranted because everyone deserves health care.
“This population isn’t going anywhere, these kids aren’t going anywhere, and these families aren’t going anywhere,” Hyde said. “These kids need health care. Gender-affirming care is health care. It’s suicide prevention, and it’s health care, we know that.”
Fesi was not immediately available for comment.
Another pending bill created by State Representative Beryl Amedee would ban trans athletes from participating in female sports in public schools. Supporters say it’s unfair to let trans girls compete against those assigned female at birth. The bill specifically says it wouldn’t prohibit co-ed teams as long as it wouldn’t ban women’s teams to create the co-ed teams.
President of Louisiana Trans Advocates, Dylan Waguespack, is fighting for the bill to not get passed.
“The state really doesn’t have any business being a part of that decision,” Waguespack said.
Advocates say the state’s economy is tied into these issues as well. Next year, New Orleans is set to host the NCAA Men’s Final Four game. The NCAA says they will not come to states that are not free from discrimination. If these bills pass and the NCAA pulls out, the state risks losing millions of dollars.
A rally is happening at the capital on May 5 to protest these bills.
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