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Edwards vetoes bills opposed by LGBTQ+ advocates

10 months 4 weeks 10 minutes ago Friday, June 30 2023 Jun 30, 2023 June 30, 2023 7:06 PM June 30, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards on Friday vetoed three bills widely opposed by LGBTQ+ advocates -- his final actions on measures stemming from the 2023 legislative session.

The vetoes apply to HB 81, barring teachers and school staff from using "preferred pronouns" of students without parental approval; HB 466, which restricts discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in public schools; and HB 648, which blocks certain procedures, including gender-affirming care, for trans children.

The Republican-controlled legislature will now consider whether to reconvene in a session that could override the governor's vetoes.

Edwards explained his decision -- which was anticipated -- in letters sent to legislative leaders.

Regarding HB 648, titled the "Stop Harming Our Kids Act," Edwards wrote, in his 6-page veto letter: This bill denies healthcare to a very small, unique, and vulnerable group of children. It forces children currently stabilized on medication to treat a legitimate healthcare diagnosis to stop taking it. It threatens the professional licensure of the limited number of specialists who treat the healthcare needs of these children. It takes away parental rights to work with a physician to make important healthcare decisions for children experiencing a gender crisis that could quite literally save their lives. And, without a doubt, it is part of a targeted assault on children that the dill itself deems not "normal."

HB 648 initially failed to clear a Senate committee, but the measure saw new life and eventually cleared the committee and advanced out of the Capitol.

The ACLU deemed it a "dark day in Louisiana."

Supporters celebrated its passage, even as they faced a likely veto from the governor.

"If HB 648 doesn’t become law, we will be sending a horrible message to our children," Sen. Jeremy Stine said in final arguments on the floor. "This isn’t complicated. Our kids deserve to know that they are loved, valued, and perfect just as God created them."

State law calls for a veto session of the legislature "at noon on the fortieth day following final adjournment of the most recent session," unless it is canceled. That 2023 session could take place on July 18.

A two-thirds vote in the House and Senate is required to override a veto. 

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