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Kentucky bill threatens to take custody of trans kids using ‘wrong’ school bathroom

Kentucky wants to kidnap trans kids

The proposed bill would amend current law challenged in federal court.

A proposed revision to existing law in Kentucky could allow state officials to take custody of trans children who repeatedly use school bathrooms aligned with their gender identity.

The revision, first noted by LGBTQ+ legislative researcher and activist Allison Chapman, did not directly mention that trans children could be removed for repeated violations of the law passed last year forcing students to use bathrooms not aligned with their gender. Instead, it used mundane language to reference only the new law with no reference to trans children.

“Kentucky has introduced a bill that would remove trans kids from their home if they don't follow the state's school bathroom ban and charge their parents with neglect,” Chapman posted to social media.

The change is contained within H.B. 747 and was sponsored by State Rep. Jason Petrie, a Republican representing District 16 on the state’s southern border. Petrie is a member of the Judiciary Committee and chair of the powerful Appropriations & Revenue Committee in the House.

H.B. 747 would amend a current law originally introduced in the state’s Senate as S.B. 150, which the ACLU of Kentucky called “one of the worst anti-trans laws in the nation.” The law went into effect after Republican legislators voted to override Democratic Gov. Andy Basheer’s veto of the bill.

The law is the subject of a lawsuit, Doe v. Thornbury, brought by seven families of trans children who say the law discriminates against them. The plaintiffs are represented by the ACLU of Kentucky. The law has been allowed to take effect while the case is argued before the courts.

Another bill before the House, H.B. 47, would amend the existing Religious Freedom Restoration Act to allow individuals to challenge laws they believe violated their religious beliefs.

“This bill is so broad that, if it passes, it could allow people to challenge virtually ANY law if they believe it impacts their religious beliefs or practice and by forcing the government to meet the strictest legal standard of review when defending those laws,” the ACLU of Kentucky said in a statement.

H.B. 747 is still in committee while H.B. 47 is currently before the full House. Both bills if passed would face a potential veto by Basheer, as well as a vote by Republicans to use their super majority to override the veto as they have in the past with similar legislation.

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