Arkansas governor vetoes protections for minors

"Why did he do it? He said he would have signed the bill if it prohibited only transgender surgery on minors, but it went too far to interfere with the relationship between physicians and parents. He also did not like that it would not have made exceptions for children already receiving hormone treatments." - WORLD

Related at National Review: Arkansas Governor Vetoes Ban on Gender Transition Surgery for Minors

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Bert Perry's picture

One thing that comes to mind for me is that if (as is the case in many states) it's legal for a child to consent to hormone therapy or even outright removal/reconfiguring of sex organs and breasts, it's harder to argue that the same child does not have the right to consent to use those same sex organs sexually--really a move that would gut protections against child sex. 

Unless transgender operations become wildly popular among young people--and there is some indication of an increase in interest this way to be fair--the big thing that's going on is not that vulnerable minors are undergoing procedures that they're likely to regret a few years later--that's far less than 1% at this point.  It's that the ethical and moral underpinnings of our protection of minors from sexual abuse is weakened, and we're talking about ~25% of young people already suffering from that.

I don't envy Hutchinson's choice here.  The law seems at one level to protect kids from being mutilated, but at another level, it almost seems to ban all kinds of therapies that might actually help kids with gender dysphoria, all while risking a hornet's nest of lawsuits and federal action.  Not an easy choice for sure.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Aaron Blumer's picture


Legislature just overrode the veto

Arkansas Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto, Bans Gender-Transition Surgery for Minors

I'm not sure what to think on this either. It's important to 'do something!' for these kids, but it's also important to make a strong law that isn't going to be squashed by a court...or abused in some way—if such a law is possible.


Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Don Johnson's picture

Given who Asa Hutchinson is, his objections to this bill are just bizarre. I don't get his rationale at all.

Perhaps there is something in the legislation that makes this particular bill unacceptable, but if so, he didn't point to it at all.

Another possibility is that it isn't "court proof" - ie, could be overturned by the courts, so needed strengthening. But again, he didn't point to that either.


Don Johnson
Jer 33.3