In a surprising move, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed a bill Monday that would have banned gender dysphoria treatments for transgender minors in the state.
Calling his decision an embrace of restrained “conservative philosophy,” Hutchinson told reporters, “This is an example of where restraint is better than overbroad actions that interfere with important relationships in our society.”
From ABC News:
During a news conference with reporters, the Republican governor said the intentions behind the state legislature’s “Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act” were “well-intended but off course.”
The act bars doctors from providing gender-affirming health care to transgender minors, including hormones, puberty blockers and transition-related surgeries.
Hutchinson said that he had an issue with the bill that would affect patients who are currently taking treatments and how it would affect the mental health of the state’s youth.
LGTBQ rights activists, medical professionals and other groups protested the bills because it was discriminatory and would lead to more severe mental health problems for youths.
ArkansasOnline reports Hutchinson’s veto can be overridden by the GOP-controlled legislature by a simple majority vote.
BREAKING: After national pushback on extreme anti-trans bills he supported in Arkansas, Governor Asa Hutchinson VETOES #HB1570, which would ban health care for trans kids.
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) April 5, 2021
BREAKING: Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announces he has VETOED anti-trans bill HB 1570. pic.twitter.com/hyX7hNFTFu
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) April 5, 2021
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) announces he has vetoed HB 1570, the bill that would restrict care for trans youth. pic.twitter.com/pcMY87stVu
— The Recount (@therecount) April 5, 2021