The Arkansas state legislature voted to enact a ban on chemical and surgical sex change treatments and surgeries for transgender youth in the state on Tuesday, overriding a veto from Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
The Republican-led legislature overwhelmingly supported the measure in a 25-8 vote with 2 excused.
Hutchinson stated he vetoed the measure on Monday after calling it an example of “vast government overreach.”
He added, “If the bill were to become law, it would create “new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people.”
The state legislature override of the veto is intended to protect children from irreversible decisions they could grow to regret. Opponents of the bill claim the measure is discriminatory.
Arkansas is not alone in the legal battle over transgender issues. Sixteen states nationwide have or are considering similar legislation according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
A similar legal battle is taking place regarding transgender athletes. The governor signed a recent bill requiring athletes to participate in sports alongside their biological gender.
“I think it undermined women’s sports to have biological males to compete,” Hutchinson noted.
The battle regarding transgender issues among minors serves as a hotly debated topic. The Biden administration also selected Rachel Levine, a transgender woman, as the first openly transgender federal official.