Reaction to SB 150 veto: ‘The day Beshear lost re-election’ vs. he ‘did the right thing’

·4 min read
Ryan Hermens/

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s decision to veto Senate Bill 150 is drawing fire from Kentucky Republicans and praise from Democrats and LGBTQ groups.

The omnibus bill combines a ban on gender-affirming care for minors – including surgeries as well as puberty blockers with a transgender bathroom ban in schools, strict regulations around what LGBTQ content is taught in schools and more.

Republicans, eager in their attempt to defeat Beshear in his bid for re-election, were quick to respond to the Friday veto by saying that the move will hurt the governor.

“Is Andy Beshear the Governor of Kentucky or California?” Republican Party of Kentucky spokesman Sean Southard said in a statement. “Kentucky voters will have an opportunity this fall to rid our state of this far-left Governor and replace him with a Republican who will work to protect children. Once this campaign is over, today may very well be remembered as the day Andy Beshear lost his bid for re-election.”

The Fairness Campaign, one of the most prominent LGBTQ rights organizations in the state, tweeted a victorious “thank you” graphic to Beshear styled with the colors of the transgender Pride flag.

Fairness Campaign Executive Director Chris Hartman called him “Kentucky’s most pro-equality governor.”

“SB 150 will only lead to disaster and despair for transgender Kentucky kids and their families,” Hartman wrote in a statement. “That’s why thousands of Kentuckians sent messages opposing SB 150 and countless Kentucky doctors showed up in Frankfort to testify against it. We urge state lawmakers to read the governor’s veto message, listen to medical professionals, and sustain Governor Beshear’s veto.”

The Kentucky Democratic Party said in a tweet that Beshear “did the right thing.

“Gov. Beshear did the right thing. SB 150 is the most extreme anti-LGBTQ bill in America. It gives big government more control over your family’s lives, rips away parents’ rights, makes our children less safe and promotes hate,” the group wrote.

Family Foundation Executive Director David Walls, whose organization pushed hard for the bill, said in a statement that the bill aligns state policy with the opinion that children identifying as transgender is invalid.

“It is deeply troubling, but frankly not surprising, that Gov. Beshear has refused to protect Kentucky’s children and their parents from these radical, politicized ideologies being pushed in education and in medicine. SB 150 will save the lives of Kentucky children by setting policy in alignment with the truth that every child is created as a biological male or female and deserves to be loved, treated with dignity, and accepted for who they really are.”

GOP candidates for governor, jockeying for position in a crowded primary for the chance to beat Beshear, lined up to take shots as well.

GOP gubernatorial hopeful Kelly Craft released a joint statement with her lieutenant governor running mate, Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville.

“Time and time again, Governor Beshear has proven he is out of step with what Kentuckians are talking about at their kitchen tables: communication and engagement with their children’s schools. A Craft-Wise Administration will ensure our children are protected, make sure parents are heard, and empower teachers to focus on providing a world-class education that teaches our children how to think, not what to think,” they said.

Wise also released his own statement, saying it’s a “slap in the face” to parents.

“It’s clear Governor Beshear cares more about woke ideologues and D.C. bureaucrats than parents and students here in Kentucky,” Wise said. “I look forward to the legislature overriding this veto, and protecting children from the irreparable harm of gender transition surgeries by making SB 150 law.”

Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who’s also running for governor, blasted the media for calling surgeries, hormones and puberty blockers gender-affirming care in a tweet. He also said the veto “endangers” children’s health and well-being.

“(It’s) the exact opposite of how we should support children experiencing gender dysphoria or mental health struggles. My administration will protect our youth from dangerous ideologies and defend Kentucky’s values,” Cameron said in a statement.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, also a candidate for governor, weighed in with a statement: “By vetoing this bill, Andy has shown his views more closely align with the radical far-left rather than that of Kentuckians. Gender reassignment surgeries for children and minors should not be allowed in Kentucky and teachers should have certain protections in the classroom when it comes to their own personal beliefs.”

Frankfort Bureau Chief Tessa Duvall contributed to this report.