Missouri Senate endorses transgender health restrictions

Mar 21, 2023, 7:28 AM | Updated: 12:16 pm

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Senate advanced a pair of bills to prohibit gender-transitioning health care treatments for minors and restrict them from competing in sports, a hard-fought GOP win Tuesday following intense pressure from protesters to act.

The Senate votes came after an all-night session of closed-door negotiations and only after Republican lawmakers agreed not to prohibit transitions already in process and to let the measures expire in 2027.

“What we got is a good start,” said Republican Sen. Mike Moon, who sponsored the health care ban. “The result is that children will be protected, and I hope that will continue.”

The measures reflect a national push led by Republicans to restrict transgender health care, drag shows, bathroom access and how LGBTQ topics are discussed in schools.

Wyoming on Monday became the 19th state to ban transgender athletes from playing on girls’ or women’s sports teams after the Republican governor opted not to veto the legislation.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly last week Georgia lawmakers passed a ban on Tuesday.

At least seven states have already enacted restrictions or bans on such care: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah and South Dakota. Federal judges have blocked enforcement of laws in Alabama and Arkansas, and more than 20 states are considering bills this year to restrict or ban care.

Arkansas lawmakers last week also passed bills to ban transgender people at public schools from using restrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

Missouri’s GOP senators compromised by agreeing to allow minors already receiving hormone treatments or puberty-blocking drugs to continue to do so, applying that ban only to those who had not yet started them.

Health care providers who perform a gender-transition surgery or otherwise prescribe “cross-sex hormones or puberty-blocking drugs” to minors could have their medical licenses revoked and face potential lawsuits from their patients until they reach age 36. Republicans initially proposed a 30-year window for lawsuits.

Although they are now due to expire in four years, the limits on competing for transgender athletes are more restrictive than Republican Sen. Holly Rehder’s original plan.

Initially, she proposed limits for only K-12 public school students. The version approved by the Senate also applies to private K-12 schools and public and private universities, a sweeping expansion that could mean some adults also will be impacted.

Schools that violate the rule would lose all state funding.

Moon said the expiration date was necessary to win initial approval. Democrats agreed to stop stalling before voting against the measures. The bills still need final Senate votes to move to the House, where Republican Speaker Dean Plocher has said he plans to follow the Senate’s lead. Similar bills passed out of House committees earlier this year.

The Senate votes came a day after hundreds of activists rallied at Missouri’s Capitol to push lawmakers to approve the legislation.

Katy Erker-Lynch, executive director of the LGBTQ rights group PROMO, had encouraged the bills’ opponents to stay away from the rally but vowed to “fight every step of the way” against the measures.

During Senate debate Monday, Democratic Sen. Lauren Arthur described the treatments ban as “an example of pretty serious government overreach.”

“You may have your opinions about this, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to impose your opinions or regulate someone else’s kids,” she said.

Also Monday, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced an emergency regulation limiting access to gender-affirming treatments for minors.

The Republican attorney general said his administrative rule would require an 18-month waiting period, 15 hour-long therapy sessions and treatment of any mental illnesses before Missouri doctors can provide gender-affirming treatments to children younger than 18.

Once that rule takes effect, it can last no more than 180 days, so it would essentially serve as a bridge to any law passed by the Legislature, which would take effect Aug. 28.

United States News

FILE - Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talks to reporters after a closed-door meetin...

Associated Press

GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California is resigning months after his ouster as House speaker

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two months after his historic ouster as House speaker, Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy announced Wednesday that he is resigning from his congressional seat in California. His announcement capped a stunning end for the one-time deli owner from Bakersfield, who ascended through state and national politics to become second in line to […]

16 minutes ago

Norman Lear (top center), who died Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023, at age 101, poses with "All in the Family...

Associated Press

Norman Lear, producer of TV’s ‘All in the Family’ and influential liberal advocate, has died at 101

Norman Lear, the writer, director and producer who revolutionized prime time television with such topical hits as "All in the Family" and “Maude,” has died.

27 minutes ago

Associated Press

Republican prosecutor will appeal judge’s ruling invalidating Wisconsin’s 174-year-old abortion ban

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Republican prosecutor said Tuesday that he plans to appeal a court ruling that Wisconsin law permits consensual medical abortions, the first step toward a potential showdown in the state Supreme Court over abortion rights. Sheboygan County District Attorney Joel Urmanski issued a statement through his attorneys saying that he disagrees […]

32 minutes ago

File - Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai speaks about Google DeepMind at a Google I/O event in Mountain Vi...

Associated Press

Google ups the stakes in AI race with Gemini, a technology trained to behave more like humans

Google took its next leap in artificial intelligence Wednesday with the launch of project Gemini, an AI model trained to behave in human-like ways that’s likely to intensify the debate about the technology’s potential promise and perils. The rollout will unfold in phases, with less sophisticated versions of Gemini called “Nano” and “Pro” being immediately […]

2 hours ago

A generator and its blades are prepared at State Pier in New London, Conn., Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, t...

Associated Press

Decades after Europe, turning blades send first commercial wind power onto US grid

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — Off the coast of eastern Long Island, an 800-foot tall turbine has begun sending electricity onto the U.S. grid from what’s set to be the country’s first commercial offshore wind farm. It’s a milestone many years in the making and at the same time a modest advance in what experts […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Minnie and Mickey Mouse perform for guests during a musical show in the Magic Kingdom at Wal...

Associated Press

DeSantis appointees accuse Disney district predecessors of cronyism; Disney calls them revisionist

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Gov. Ron DeSantis’ appointees to Walt Disney World’s governing district on Wednesday released a series of reports justifying their takeover and accusing their Disney-controlled predecessors of being a part of “the most egregious exhibition of corporate cronyism in modern American history.” The reports commissioned by the Florida governor’s appointees to the […]

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

West Hunsaker at Morris Hall supports Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona

KTAR's Community Spotlight this month focuses on Morris Hall and its commitment to supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University: innovating Arizona health care education

Midwestern University’s Glendale Campus near Loop 101 and 59th Avenue is an established leader in health care education and one of Arizona’s largest and most valuable health care resources.



Importance of AC maintenance after Arizona’s excruciating heat wave

An air conditioning unit in Phoenix is vital to living a comfortable life inside, away from triple-digit heat.

Missouri Senate endorses transgender health restrictions