Governor Tate Reeves signs bill banning gender-affirming care into law
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -You may have heard about other states working to ban care for transgender young people. As of Tuesday, you can add Mississippi to that list, and it’s an issue drawing strong emotions from both sides.
It was nearly two weeks ago that transgender families protested the idea of blocking access to gender-affirming care outside the State Capitol. Tuesday, Governor Tate Reeves announced “House Bill 1125 is now law” after signing the legislation.
And that’s effective immediately.
“No child in Mississippi will have these drugs or surgeries pushed upon them,” explained Reeves. “This stops today. We are taking the stand for all of our children.”
Opponents say there aren’t any doctors offering gender reassignment surgeries in the state. But the Governor wants to ensure that’s never the case.
“At the end of the day, there are only two positions here,” he said. “One tells children that they’re beautiful, just the way that they are that they can find happiness in their own bodies. The other tells them that they should take drugs and cut themselves up with expensive and experimental procedures in order to find freedom from depression.”
Advocates watching the speech from outside the building say the Governor shouldn’t keep parents and families from making those medical decisions.
“We’re here to say, once more, this is wrong,” said Human Rights Campaign Mississippi State Director. “It’s injust. And it’s gonna cost lives.”
Jensen Matar says the Governor is trying to resolve an imaginary problem that will ultimately impact a small number of Mississippians who are already suffering.
“They’re already being victimized,” noted Matar, Executive Director of Mississippi-based The TRANS Program. “They’re already being bullied, you know, and so you have you have a family out here, trans youth, you have a family, you have people that love you that are going to continue fighting for you.”
Various groups have weighed in since the bill signing. Some of those reactions are below.
Capital City Pride
“Capital City Pride is deeply saddened by todays bill signing but will continue to support trans youth and their families. Capital City Pride offers “Safe Spaces” Support Groups. A free 10-week support group for LGBTQ youth and their caregiver. For more information, please visit www.mscapitalcitypride.org”
Mickie Stratos, president of The Spectrum Center of Hattiesburg
“Gov. Reeves’ decision to sign this bill is an act of violence. He and the lawmakers who pushed this bill in Mississippi are willfully ignoring the unique needs of transgender young people, interfering with their medical care and sending a stigmatizing, exclusionary message. Advocates for transgender equality in Mississippi and beyond will continue doing everything in our power to care for and protect trans youth in our state.”
Stacie Pace, PhD, MSN, ACNP, AGNP, CCTS-I of Spectrum: The Other Clinic
“We are exhausted, simply exhausted, by the amount of ignorant pseudoscience that has been used to push this bill and others like it into existence. The science and data are clear, and there are ample robust guidelines in place for healthcare providers to follow in the care of transgender people of all ages. What is also clear is that anti-trans sentiment is being given as much consideration as actual scientific research. We will of course abide by the law as it stands in Mississippi and cease to provide any services to those under the age of 18. For those who have passed this law, we truly hope that they do not understand what they have done. Because to understand the implications of this bill’s passage is to be complicit in the increased suicidality and discrimination of this vulnerable population. Our hearts are heavy with the burden of knowing what this can lead to.”
You can view the full press conference and bill signing below.
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