Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers vetoed a bill that sought to outlaw gender-affirming care for minors on December 6.
The veto was expected from Governor Evers, who has vowed to strike down any proposals from the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature that he deems harmful to LGBTQ+ youth.
“This type of legislation, and the rhetoric beget by pursuing it, harms LGBTQ people and kids’ mental health, emboldens anti-LGBTQ hate and violence, and threatens the safety and dignity of LGBTQ Wisconsinites,” Governor Evers wrote in his veto message. “I will veto any bill that makes Wisconsin a less safe, less inclusive, and less welcoming place for LGBTQ people and kids.”
The bill, which was passed by the Legislature in October, would have banned gender-affirming surgeries, which are rare, as well as all forms of gender-affirming care for minors in Wisconsin, including puberty blockers and hormone treatment using estrogen and testosterone.
Public hearings on the proposal earlier this year drew dozens of people to the state Capitol to testify in opposition.
“I am vetoing this bill in its entirety because I object to restricting physicians from providing evidence-based and medically appropriate care to their patients, restricting parents from making decisions with physicians to ensure their kids receive the healthcare they need, and preventing patients from receiving that basic, lifesaving care. Healthcare providers should be trusted to provide medically appropriate and accurate information, treatment, and care for their patients without the unnecessary political interference of politicians. Further, and especially important to me personally, I am vetoing this bill in its entirety because I object to the Legislature’s ongoing efforts to manufacture and perpetuate false, hateful, and discriminatory anti-LGBTQ policies and rhetoric in our state. I support LGBTQ Wisconsinites, and I will continue to do everything in my power to defend them, protect their rights, and keep them safe.” – Governor Tony Evers
Gender-affirming care has been available in the United States for more than a decade and is endorsed by major medical associations.
At least 22 states have enacted laws restricting or banning gender-affirming medical care for transgender minors, and most of those states face lawsuits over the measures.
Gender-affirming surgery for minors is rare, with fewer than 3,700 performed in the U.S. on patients ages 12 to 18 from 2016 through 2019, according to a study published in August.
The bill Governor Evers vetoed on December 6 was one of several proposals targeting transgender people that he has vowed to reject.