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Wed May 24, 2023, 08:21 PM

Trans youth healthcare ban killed in Louisiana, giving LGBTQ+ community a rare win

A Louisiana Senate committee killed a proposed ban on gender affirming healthcare for transgender youth Wednesday, giving a rare victory to LGBTQ+ activists combating care restrictions throughout the southeast.

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted 5-4 to involuntarily defer House Bill 648 by Rep. Gabe Firment, R-Pollock, killing the bill for the year. Committee Chair Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks, bucked his party to break the tie between Republicans and Democrats on the committee.

“Always in my heart of hearts have I believed that a decision should be made by a patient and a physician. I believe in the physicians in Louisiana,” Mills, a pharmacist, said. “I believe in the scope of practice. I believe in the standard of care.”

Firment’s proposal, which would have banned all gender-affirming healthcare for transgender minors, is similar to proposals filed in at least 17 other states, including every state on the Gulf Coast. An AP analysis found most of these bills have strong similarities to model legislation right-wing organizations have put forward.

Louisiana has bucked the trend of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation being approved around the country — at least temporarily. If reelected, Firment is likely to bring the bill back next year, after Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, who has said anti-LGBTQ+ legislation will lead to more suicides among trans youth, has left office.


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