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Reports on Louisiana politics, government and the people shaping state policy

Louisiana lawmakers to hold veto session to pass ban on gender-affirming care for youth, other bills

Rep. Michael “Gabe” Firment appeared before a second Senate committee to revive his proposed ban on gender-affirming care for minors.
Allison Allsop
/
LSU Manship School News Service
Rep. Michael “Gabe” Firment appeared before a second Senate committee to revive his proposed ban on gender-affirming care for minors.

Louisiana lawmakers are heading back to the state Capitol Tuesday for a veto session where they are primarily looking to pass a ban on gender-affirming health care for youth, according to several lawmakers.

The Republican Party of Louisiana and groups like the Louisiana Family Forum have slammed a series of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ vetoes and heavily advocated for a veto override session. They’ve argued the ban on gender-affirming health care for youth is necessary to protect children.

Rep. Michael “Gabe” Firment, R-Pollock, the bill’s author, said his law is the main driver of the override session. Leading medical organizations support gender-affirming health care, but Louisiana lawmakers seem adamant to ban it.

The veto session starts Tuesday and must end within five days.

Edwards vetoed a series of controversial bills last month that target LGBTQ+ youth in Louisiana. Those include the ban on gender-affirming health care for minors, as well as Louisiana’s version of a so-called “Don’t Say Gay'' bill and a bill that would restrict the use of students’ preferred pronouns.

“I believe this legislation is rooted in discrimination fueled by ignorance and hatred,” Edwards said in his veto letter on House Bill 466, the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which prevents discussion of sexual orientation in K-12 classrooms.

Similar laws have been sweeping Republican-dominated legislatures this year.

The veto override session is the third in recent state history. Veto overrides are rare in Louisiana, and require a two-thirds vote from lawmakers in both chambers.

Lawmakers held a veto session in 2021 but ended the session after realizing they lacked the necessary number of votes.

All of the bills passed this year that target LGBTQ+ youth received a two-thirds vote from lawmakers during the regular session, which suggests lawmakers have the ability to override Edwards’ vetoes.

Edwards issued 28 vetoes in total. Lawmakers will have the chance to override each of those next week, including line-item vetoes in the state budget and multiple bills that would relax vaccine requirements in schools.

Molly Ryan is a political reporter and covers state politics from the Louisiana Capitol.