This article was originally published by KARK news.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – HB1570 passed out of the Senate earlier this week and now awaits action from Governor Asa Hutchinson.
It’s a bill that prohibits any type of treatment in regards gender reassignment for anyone under 18.
Charisse Dean with Arkansas Family Council believes this bill should be signed into law, “Arkansas will be a trailblazer in protecting children.” Antoine Ghoston is with the Arkansas Black Gay Men’s Forum and says HB1570 denies trans kids basic healthcare needs
“And to trans people trans related care is an essential part of their healthcare,” Ghoston said.
Dean says this bill does not deny healthcare and also provides for counseling. She says the bill protects kids from the possibilities that can occur from using puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones in bodies that are still developing,
“This is drugs are you being used off label they are actual drugs that are used for medicine but when it comes to gender transition they are not approved for that use,” Dean said.
Keon Anderson is a transgender man and believes the government should not interfere with health decisions. “If their parents are OK with that and letting their child be them why should a state or legislature stop that,” Anderson said.
When this bill passed out social media was abuzz with it. ‘Arkansas’ was trending nationally and people like singer for the Backstreet Boys A.J. McLean and former NBA superstar Dwyane Wade voice their opposition to the measure.
Anderson said he felt all the love they were getting especially from Wade who has a transgendered child himself.
“I’m loving to see that people are coming and standing behind us and especially Dwyane Wade because he’s like going through work, his child is a youth and this could affect his child,” said Anderson.
Dean says there are no long-term studies on the effects of those types of treatments on youth. She says the suicide rates don’t drastically change with people who go through gender reassignment. “97% of them come into congruence and are OK with their biological sex,” she said.
The Governor has said he will meet with both sides of this issue before making a decision on what he will do with HB1570. He can either sign it into law, veto the bill, or allow it to sit on his desk and after five days it will automatically become law.