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Kentucky Bill Charges Parents With “Neglect” If Trans Kids Use “Wrong” Restrooms

The bill updates state code to feature “educational neglect,” which includes failure to tell kids which restroom to use.

A proposed change to existing Kentucky law seeks to charge parents of transgender children with neglect and potentially remove children from their homes if they do not use restrooms that correspond to the sex listed on their birth certificates.

The language of the bill itself doesn’t mention transgender children at all, but rather references the state code that currently exists regarding restrictions on restroom and locker room use in schools. For individuals who are not familiar with that state code, which is referred to as Senate Bill 150 and passed into law in March of last year, the changes would be easy to miss.

Legislative tracker and transgender activist Allison Chapman appears to be the first to have noticed the proposed changes to state law, posting about it on social media on Tuesday night.

“Kentucky has introduced a bill that would REMOVE TRANS KIDS from their home if they don’t follow the state’s school bathroom ban and charge their parents with NEGLECT,” Chapman wrote, sharing screenshots of the proposal.

The bill, introduced by Republican state Rep. Jason Petrie, would update the state’s definition of child neglect to include the idea of “educational neglect,” which would include a “parent’s failure to properly supervise, instruct, train or control his or her child” to follow the existing anti-trans restroom law. The state could remove a child from their home if they repeatedly ignore exclusionary restroom restrictions, which experts have noted are incredibly harmful to transgender children.

“This bill was easy to miss because it did not directly call out parents of trans kids and required existing knowledge of SB150 which was passed last year,” Chapman elaborated.

The law as it stands now, even without the changes that would allow the state to rip children from their homes, is still extremely restrictive. It doesn’t just affect restroom or locker room use, but also forbids physicians in the state from providing trans kids with gender-affirming care treatments, which have been described as lifesaving by medical experts and those who have received them.

The ACLU considers the law to be “one of the worst” in the country targeting transgender people. A federal judge blocked enforcement of the law last year — however, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed that injunction, meaning the law is enforceable pending the outcome of the lawsuit against it. The ACLU filed a writ of certiorari request in November for the Supreme Court to overturn that ruling.

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