LGBTQ advocacy groups have criticized the passage of SB 140, a bill to ban most gender-affirming medical treatments for transgender kids, by the Georgia Senate.
The bill was approved by the Senate by a vote of 31-21 on Tuesday (March 21), the final step before going to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk to be signed into law or vetoed. If Gov. Kemp passes the law, doctors and health care providers would be prohibited from providing hormone replacement therapy and gender-affirming surgeries to minors. Failure to comply could mean losing their licenses and potential exposure to criminal or civil liability.
Along with medical professionals, over 500 of whom released an open letter in opposition to the bill, Georgia’s LGBTQ advocacy groups condemned the passage of SB 140 by the Georgia legislature.
“We are saddened by the Senate passage of SB 140 today,” Georgia Equality said in a statement. “Parents, working in collaboration with their medical teams and adhering to standards of care, should be able to make decisions regarding their child’s healthcare. With an amendment attached to SB 140 that would criminalize medical providers for following established standards of care, this legislation sets a dangerous precedent by putting politics over scientific fact. By targeting medical professionals for doing their jobs, SB 140 threatens an already serious shortage of healthcare workers. For the safety and wellbeing of our state, Governor Kemp must veto this harmful legislation.”
“We assert that gender-affirming healthcare is life-saving medical care,” the Georgia youth Justice Coalition said in a statement. “The passing of SB140 does not change that truth but is only demonstrative of an intentional threat posed by lawmakers to the safety and well-being of our trans classmates. The immense presence of students, medical professionals, and allies at the Capitol demonstrates that Georgians are not only against this hateful bill but committed to fighting for justice and liberation for trans youth.”
OUT Georgia Business Alliance highlighted the potential harm this bill could do not only to trans youth, but Georgia’s economy as a whole.
“For young gender diverse Georgians – who could become our state’s next CEOs, executives, entrepreneurs, leaders, and employers – losing access to gender affirming care will signal that their lives aren’t valuable,” they said in a statement. “And for some, parents may decide that Georgia is no longer safe, welcoming, and supportive of their families.”
In comments from the Senate floor on Tuesday, State Sen. Kim Jackson said the bill was “grossly disgusting” and “about us bullying children in order to score political points.”
LGBTQ groups are urging the community to tell Gov. Kemp to veto the bill by messaging him via Georgia Equality or calling his office at 404-656-1776.