Chaz Bono has warned that Arkansas lawmakers are condemning trans youth to a fate that some will find “worse than death”.
House Bill 1570 will criminalise medical professionals who offer puberty blockers and hormone treatment to trans minors. The law passed through the House of Representatives and Senate in March before making its way to governor Asa Hutchinson’s desk.
However, Hutchinson opted to veto the bill, warning that it was a “vast government overreach”. On Tuesday, both houses voted to override Hutchinson’s veto, meaning the bill will be passed into law. Advocates have warned that the law will leave trans youth without access to vital healthcare.
Chaz Bono hit out at the Arkansas legislature on Twitter as the news broke, saying the decision to override Hutchinson’s veto would have dire consequences for trans youth.
“I’m disgusted that today Arkansas legislators passed a bill denying trans youth, trans healthcare,”he wrote.
“In pandering to your base, you’re not only going against the medical professionals, you’re condemning trans youth to a fate that, unfortunately, some will find worse than death.”
Prior to the legislature’s decision to override Hutchinson’s veto, Bono warned that the bill would “decimate” the trans youth community of Arkansas.
“Children’s healthcare should be in the hands of physicians and their parents, not politicians!” he tweeted.
The passage of the legislation in Arkansas has caused uproar among LGBT+ rights activists and organisations.
The law has been condemned by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Trevor Project, the Human Rights Campaign and a host of other organisations.
The ACLU said it will be taking legal action to challenge the legislation.
“Today Arkansas legislators disregarded widespread, overwhelming, bipartisan opposition to this bill and continued their discriminatory crusade against trans youth,” Holly Dickson, executive director of the ACLU’s Arkansas branch said.
“As governor Hutchinson noted in his veto message, denying care to trans youth can lead to harmful and life-threatening consequences. This is a sad day for Arkansas, but this fight is not over – and we’re in it for the long haul.
“Attempting to block trans youth from the care they need simply because of who they are is not only wrong, it’s also illegal, and we will be filing a lawsuit to challenge this law in court.”