The clash between cultural values and party politics is evident in states like Louisiana, where a Republican-dominated legislature faces opposition from Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards. In 2023, the state legislature passed several bills aimed at countering the prevailing transgender ideology in our culture. Among these bills were HB81, which sought to require teachers and school staff to use a child’s birth pronouns unless parents consented to use alternate pronouns; HB466, Louisiana’s version of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law; and HB648, which aimed to prohibit gender treatments for minors. As expected, Governor Edwards vetoed all three bills.
Despite the legislature’s efforts to override the vetoes, they were unable to garner the two-thirds majority required for HB81 and HB466. However, they succeeded in overriding Edwards’ veto on HB648, ensuring the bill’s passage into law. State Representative Gabe Firment, who sponsored HB648, expressed gratitude for the bipartisan support in the Louisiana State Senate and emphasized the importance of protecting children from experimental procedures.
Detransitioner Chloe Cole and other advocates supporting the protection of children from irreversible surgeries and lifelong hormone use celebrated the legislature’s actions. Mark Trammell, executive director of the Center for American Liberty, praised the Louisiana legislature for prioritizing vulnerable children’s safety over appeasing special interest groups.
In his lengthy veto message for HB648, Edwards argued that the bill infringes upon “parental rights” and denies healthcare to a small, unique, and vulnerable group of children. He blamed national interest groups for spreading propaganda and misinformation, leading to the bill’s popularity. However, his arguments echoed familiar talking points from Democrats who resist state efforts to protect children.
The Louisiana legislature’s firm stance against Edwards and his left-wing rhetoric showcases their commitment to safeguarding children’s well-being. Despite the political challenges, they prioritized the interests of their constituents and demonstrated their dedication to preserving the rights and health of Louisiana’s youth.