BATON ROUGE — The ACLU of Louisiana released the following statement applauding Governor John Bel Edwards’ decision to veto several harmful bills that target LGBTQ+ Louisianans: House Bill 648, which would have banned gender-affirming medical care for minors; House Bill 466, which would have banned discussion of gender and sexual identity in schools; House Bill 81, which would have prevented students from going by their preferred name and pronouns in schools. 

“We commend Governor Edwards for fulfilling his pledge to veto these harmful bills that do nothing to improve the life of Louisianans. 

"This legislative session was unprecedented in the number of attacks on LGBTQ+ Louisianans and their families by extremists in the statehouse. Our lawmakers repeatedly turned their backs on democratic processes, science, parental rights, community testimony, and the health and safety of children - all for political gain and, in the process, harming some of the most vulnerable people in our state.

"We are thankful that the Governor has chosen to stand with the incredible families, advocates, experts, and lawmakers who fought these dangerous bills that targeted LGBTQ+ youth and stripped rights from their parents. 

"Nobody wins when we try to codify discrimination like this. Our hope is that every Louisiana representative can think carefully for themselves about the civil liberties at stake and show the political courage to support the governor’s vetoes.”

Recently, courts across the country have recognized that many anti-LGBTQ+ laws - most often bans on gender-affirming care - violate equal protection and due process rights of adolescents, their parents, and their medical providers, while also discriminating on the basis of sex and transgender status.