Mara Powell

Statement from Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates

LOUISVILLE, KY – As the ramifications of Senate Bill 150 with pieces of House Bill 470 in an amendment are dissected, reasonable folks from across the political spectrum agree on several tenets. First, this is not a Kentucky measure – the genesis of this measure springs from a national agenda of fearmongering. Secondly, gender affirming care is not about a twelve-year old deciding to get surgery. Instead, it’s about providing age-appropriate health and mental health supports in professional settings to vulnerable young people. And finally, it is an issue for families – drawing on friends, their faith, and their doctors – and should not be controlled by a governmental “big brother” mentality.

Beyond the specific issue at hand, this bill – and the processes of its passage – reveal why there is such disillusionment about Frankfort. The ironies are striking!

The General Assembly rightfully calls on every governor to be transparent and yet they resuscitate dead versions of SB 150 and HB 470 through what can kindly be called parliamentary shenanigans.

The House Education Committee specifically – the self-proclaimed bastion of parent rights in the House and the General Assembly as a whole – ignore those very rights when they might conflict with a broader political agenda.

And finally, this final measure transforms the Republican super-majority caucuses from a historic commitment of small government and personal liberty into a party pushing an agenda of a wildly expanded government intrusion. It means that in Kentucky, neither medical practices nor deeply personal decisions around sexuality and gender-identification are the purviews of doctors and parents but instead are under the ever-watchful eye of state government.

Passage of SB 150, even with the amendment, means that kids lose access to much needed health and mental health supports. It means that families lose vital rights. And it means that Frankfort Republicans – save the courageous Representatives Banta, Dietz, Moser, and Timoney and Senator Carroll who refused to vote in support of the measure – lose their long-held core governing identity. That is a lose-lose-lose trifecta for us all.


About Kentucky Youth Advocates
Kentucky Youth Advocates believes all children deserve to be safe, healthy, and secure. As THE independent voice for Kentucky’s children, we work to ensure policymakers create investments and policies that are good for children. Learn more at