SB 150 remains in effect after federal court ruling

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, October 4, 2023

By Mark Maynard

Kentucky Today

A federal appeals court rejected attempts to block Senate Bill 150 on Thursday, giving Attorney General Daniel Cameron a victory to protect Kentucky children from experimental sex-change treatments.

The law — vetoed by Gov. Andy Beshear — protects kids from permanent, invasive harm caused by puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. In light of the Sixth Circuit’s 2-1 ruling on Thursday, Senate Bill 150 remains in full force while the case moves forward.

Chief Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton wrote in the majority opinion “it is difficult for anyone to be sure about predicting the long-term consequences of abandoning age limits of any sort for these treatments. This precisely the kind of situation in which life-tenured judges construing a difficult-to-amend Constitution should be humble and careful about announcing new substantive due process or equal protection rights that limit accountable elected officials from sorting out these medical, social, and policy challenges.”

Cameron said he is “proud to carry the mantle for this important law.”

“These gender interventions, billed as medical care, cause permanent harm to vulnerable children and their health,” he said. “Despite full-throated denials by Governor Beshear and his far-left activists, our children would still be under attack without SB 150.”

The General Assembly passed Senate Bill 150 during the 2023 Regular Session. The legislation prioritizes the health, safety, and welfare of children and safeguards them from, among other things, irreversible medical treatments and ideological indoctrination in schools. Beshear vetoed the sweeping legislation, which also keeps boys out of girls’ restrooms and locker rooms. The General Assembly overrode his veto by big margins.

Lawyers from the ACLU and the National Center for Lesbian Rights sued to halt enforcement of a section of Senate Bill 150 that would revoke the licenses of physicians who perform so-called “gender-affirming care” on minors. A federal court in Louisville ruled in their favor, and Cameron immediately sought and secured emergency relief from that ruling.

Thursday’s ruling keeps that relief in effect, and finds that Cameron is likely to secure a permanent victory when the case is decided on the merits. Senate Bill 150 has been in place protecting Kentucky children since July 14.

“Experimenting on children — sterilizing children — in the name of social progress is evil,” said State Rep. Matt Lockett, of Jessamine. “Attorney General Cameron has been a stalwart against that evil since day one, and his latest victory in the fight to uphold SB 150 is just further proof of his commitment to Kentucky kids.”

“This legislature has an absolute obligation to protect minor children from making life-altering decisions before their brains, much less their bodies, are fully formed,” said Senate Majority Whip Mike Wilson, of Bowling Green. “This recent ruling reflects that SB 150 is clearly a constitutional measure with Kentucky’s children and their innocence in mind.”

David Walls, the executive director of The Family Foundation in Kentucky, called it an “important legal victory.”

“The Sixth Circuit rightly agreed that Kentucky has the right to protect vulnerable children from harm and give them time to seek compassionate care,” he said. “This ruling is another important legal victory in the effort to end these irreversible medical experiments that leave children physically and chemically mutilated.

“I am thankful the Kentucky General Assembly acted to protect children from bodily harm by overriding Governor Andy Beshear’s disappointing veto of these commonsense protections. We are also extremely grateful for Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s tireless defense of Kentucky law and congratulate him on winning this important victory for our children.”

In July, Cameron issued an Opinion refuting the Kentucky Department of Education’s “perverse and non-sensical” SB 150 guidance about teaching gender identity in the classroom. Earlier, he ridiculed President Biden’s effort that would force schools to allow biological boys into girls’ lockers, showers, and bathrooms. And he sued the Biden Administration to keep biological men from competing in women’s sports.

A group of parents took aim at another portion of Kentucky’s transgender law in a suit filed Friday that challenges rules about the use of transgender pronouns and bathroom assignment in schools. The lawsuit argues that education-related policies — including requiring school districts to prevent trans students from using their preferred restrooms — violate the state Constitution.

The families, all from the Lexington area, are asking a judge to block those provisions of Kentucky’s transgender law.