FRANKFORT, KY — (03-15-23) — A late night amendment proposed in the Kentucky Senate would dramatically scale back the limitations placed on transgender youth, their families and health care providers by the controversial House Bill 470.  Following the blowback from both sides of the aisle, Senator Danny Carroll, R-Benton, filed an amendment late Tuesday night that would roll back a proposed ban on medication, puberty blockers in particular, commonly provided to transgender youth.

Senator Julie Raque Adams and Senator Whitney Westerfield who are both Republicans, voted for the bill in committee on Tuesday but stressed how much they dislike elements of the proposal.

Adams, the Senate Majority caucus chair, said committee Chair Danny Carroll committed to changing the bill before a floor vote.

House Bill 470, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Decker, R-Waddy, would ban gender-affirming medical treatments including hormone therapy and puberty blockers for trans youths in Kentucky.

Carroll’s amendment would leave intact other provisions that Democrats and LGBTQ-rights activists have called problematic that include guidance around student pronouns, gender identity and bathroom policy.

Senator Carroll’s amendment would limit nonsurgical medical treatments by ensuring that:

• A parent or guardian provides notarized consent

• The child must be medically diagnosed with gender dysphoria

• The treatment is provided by a licensed physician who is “appropriately trained and experienced” in providing similar treatments

• “Cross-sex hormones” including testosterone and estrogen are banned

• Mental health care “that promote(s) gender transition” is banned, but mental health care that “address(es) a person’s sex or gender” is allowed

• Treatments “meet evidence-based medical standards of care for the treatment of children with gender dysphoria”

Carroll’s bill also did not touch on the following provisions:

• School districts cannot require personnel or students to use the pronouns of a student if they don’t align with their biological sex, a measure originally put forth in Senate Bill 150 from Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville.

• No student, regardless of their age, can see a presentation or curriculum from the school about “studying or exploring gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation,” which was a part of Rep. Shane Baker, R-Somerset, House Bill 177.

• Schools shall develop a bathroom policy that protects students’ “privacy rights” as outlined in a section that condemns allowing trans students to use a bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. That section does not mandate that schools or districts ban trans students from using a bathroom that corresponds with their identity, but strongly suggests they should.

We will continue to follow this story and bring you developments as they become available.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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