Less than one week after perhaps the most egregiously anti-transgender bill in modern US history passed the Arkansas legislature, it was vetoed in a surprise move by Governor Asa Hutchinson, a staunch Republican with a poor record on LGBTQ and civil rights. Less than one day later, the General Assembly voted Tuesday to override the governor’s veto, making their state the first in the country to outlaw gender-affirming treatment for trans youth.
The bill, HB 1570, erroneously dubbed the “Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act” (SAFE), would have prohibited medical providers from delivering gender-affirming health care to transgender individuals under the age of 18. The bill passed with a large majority in both legislative chambers. And less than a month prior, Hutchinson signed two anti-LGBTQ bills, one that allows health care workers to turn LGBTQ people away from non-emergency treatment and one that denies transgender women and girls the ability to play on female sports teams.
Defending his veto of Arkansas’ anti-trans health care bill on Tuesday night, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson refused to be bullied by Tucker Carlson—and rebuffed the Fox host’s attempts to fluster him with talking points and mischaracterization.
“Tucker, I answered that. I answered that question and I said, ‘No, I have not.’ Do you have another question?” Hutchinson shot back, briefly stunning Carlson into silence; or “You want to keep talking or do you want me to answer the question?!” Hutchinson declared at one point.
Carlson has repeatedly used his top-rated show in recent months to attack trans kids and their parents, largely under the guise of wanting to prevent child abuse or protecting the sanctity of women’s sports.The Daily Beast
Said the Governor on Tucker Carlson’s program, “And I made it clear that if this was about prohibiting procedures of sex reassignment surgery, absolutely, I would have signed that bill,” he continued. “But this was the first law in the nation that invokes the state between medical decisions, parents who consent to that, and the decision of the patient. And so this goes way too far. And in fact, it doesn’t even have a grandfather clause that those young people that are under hormonal treatment.”