Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed legislation Wednesday barring male-born athletes from female scholastic sports, and taking gender-transition procedures off the table for minor children as well as adult inmates.
Senate Bill 49, called the Missouri Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act, bars health care providers from performing gender-transition surgeries on minors and places a four-year moratorium on puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for minors seeking to change their gender.
“We support everyone’s right to his or her own pursuit of happiness; however, we must protect children from making life-altering decisions that they could come to regret in adulthood once they have physically and emotionally matured,” the Republican governor said in a statement.
He also signed Senate Bill 39, which prohibits biological males from participating in girls’ and women’s scholastic sports in grades K-12 as well as college, saying that in Missouri, “we support real fairness, not injustice disguised as social righteousness.”
The bill makes Missouri the 22nd state to forbid male-born students from competing in female sports, and one of 19 states to restrict medical gender transitions for those under 18, according to the American Principles Project.
“We applaud Gov. Parson and Missouri lawmakers for putting biology above ideology, and we also extend our gratitude to Attorney General Andrew Bailey for his efforts to move these protections forward,” said APP President Terry Schilling. “The momentum continues to build nationwide to defeat the transgender industry, and we’re just getting started.”
Those blasting the bill signings included Democratic House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, who said that Mr. Parson “had a chance to protect innocent families who are just trying to live their lives in peace. Instead he chose to persecute them.”
“The governor could have said ‘no’ to bigotry and hate. Instead he embraced it,” she said in a statement. “History tends to reflect poorly on oppression and the oppressors, and the stain of this action will not wash away.”
The ACLU of Missouri vowed to “explore all options to fight these bans and to expand the rights of trans Missourians.”
“The anti-trans legislation Governor Parson penned into law will be devastating for trans people of all ages,” said the ACLU statement. “While the government pushed this deceitful bill behind the guise of protecting children, buried within the law is a ban on health care for adults based on the amount of money they earn or whether they are incarcerated.”
SB 49 also prohibits MO HealthNet, the state’s Medicaid program, from covering gender-transition procedures, and removes elective gender transition surgeries from the list of procedures offered to inmates by jails, prisons and correctional facilities.
Mr. Parson said it was important to “protect Missouri children from harmful, irreversible treatments and procedures.”
“These decisions have permanent consequences for life and should not be made by impressionable children who may be in crisis or influenced by the political persuasions of others,” he said.
I applaud Governor Parson and the legislature for taking action on this issue.
I’m proud to have called attention to the experimental nature of these procedures and promulgated an emergency rule to protect Missouri’s children until the legislature could act. https://t.co/okXHexoKcX
— Attorney General Andrew Bailey (@AGAndrewBailey) June 7, 2023
The bill-signings come as part of a red-state push to place guardrails on the gender-ideology movement amid a proliferation of youth gender clinics and surge of biological males in female sports.
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ organization, on Tuesday declared its first-ever “state of emergency” over the wave of state bills.
The group said 76 “anti-LGBTQ+” state bills had been signed as of Monday, more than double the number in 2022.
“How is Gov. Parson acknowledging Pride in Missouri? By signing a trans sports ban and gender-affirming care ban into law,” the HRC tweeted. “These attacks against our community are unacceptable during Pride and beyond.”
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