BATON ROUGE — House bills limiting gender-affirming care, pronoun use in schools and classroom discussion of gender and sexuality passed the Senate Monday.
The bills are part of a national Republican push to restrict transgender activity by minors.
State Rep. Michael “Gabe” Firment, R-Pollock, authored House Bill 648, a bill that would prohibit healthcare professionals from administering hormone therapy or performing surgery as gender-affirming care for anyone under 18.
The bill had been temporarily shot down by Republican state Sen. Fred Mills’ tie-breaking vote in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee May 24.
Firment’s bill passed the Senate today, 29-10, after it advanced through the Senate Judiciary Committee. It now goes back to the House for concurrence in Senate amendments.
State Rep. Raymond J. Crews, R-Bossier City, authored House Bill 81, which would restrict a student’s ability to be referred to by gender-affirming pronouns or by a different name by teachers and public-school employees.
Crews’ bill would require parents to submit a form for public school teachers and employees to use a name that is not on the student’s birth certificate or to use pronouns that are not in accordance with the student’s biological sex. The bill passed 31-8.
House Bill 466, authored by state Rep. Dodie Horton, R-Haughton, would prohibit the discussion of gender and sexuality between public school teachers and employees and students beyond what is in the state curricula. Teachers also would be prohibited from discussing these topics in extracurricular settings, such as during clubs or sports.
Horton’s bill, which was patterned after Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law, would not prohibit a student from seeking the guidance of a mental health counselor or teacher beyond classroom hours with parental consent. The bill passed 29-9.
If the House concurs with the Senate changes to Firment’s gender-affirming bill, the next question will be whether Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, will veto any of the gender-related bills.
According to the Louisiana Illuminator, in a press conference in May, Edwards expressed concern about legislation that targets transgender people, a community that he said was already more likely to experience suicidal ideation or attempt suicide.
Edwards also said that bills that target the LGBTQ+ community are unnecessary.