‘Trans people are not a threat.’ Some UK students won’t stand for Senate Bill 150


Samuel Colmar

Demonstrators march during the Queer Youth Visibility March on Friday, March 31, 2023, in downtown Lexington in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Samuel Colmar | Staff

Alexis Baker, Staff Reporter

According to the Kentucky General Assembly, Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of Senate Bill 150 was overridden on Wednesday, leaving some UK students unhappy. 

The bill sets guidelines for the study of sexuality and rules regarding biological sex in primary and secondary school. 

The Lexington Herald-Leader said that the bill will not only ban puberty blockers, hormones, and surgeries for individuals under the age of 18, but it also bans education about gender identity and sexual orientation, prevents transgender students from using the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity and stops school districts from requiring teachers to use student’s pronouns if they are different than their sex assigned at birth. 

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the bill has been called the most “extreme” and “worst” anti-LGBTQ piece of legislation in the country by pro-LGBTQ rights groups including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky (ACLU) and the Trevor Project.

The ACLU released a statement on the veto override Wednesday which called Senate Bill 150 a “shameful attack on LGBTQ youth.” 

“To the commonwealth: we will see you in court,” the statement said. 

Some UK students had similar negative reactions. 

“When I hear about the continued attacks on nonbinary and trans people the only word I feel like I can use is devastation,” Madison Mclean, a sophomore English major, said. “Especially being from Kentucky. I love this state; I don’t want to leave this state.”

Multiple students collectively agreed that Kentucky legislators should be focusing on solving issues rather than infringing on LGBTQ rights.

Cassie Hahn, a senior environmental studies and English major who serves as an officer for UK’s Gender Sexuality Alliance, said the legislative priority should be the protection of children from gun violence. 

“A lot of these laws, they are framed in ways that are trying to portray that they’re helping children or protecting them from some evil,” Hahn said. “When in reality, it literally just happened a couple days ago, there was a shooting in Nashville. Legislation needs to be passed on those kinds of things and not the supposed threat of trans people, because trans people are not a threat.”

Andrea Dubon, a sophomore human health sciences major, said the forefront of the legislature should be the censorship of media.

Dubon said that the “TikTok ban,” a controversial piece of legislature on college campuses across the nation, should not be as narrow. They said that VPN’s and applications used in other countries should apply to the ban as well.

“It’s a little bit hypocritical that that’s (Senate Bill 150) something we’re addressing in legislature when there are so many other problems in education and health reform that we have to deal with,” Dubon said. “It shouldn’t be our priority.”