Kentucky candidates for governor spar over gender reassignment surgery claims
The issue of gender reassignment surgery for minors – and whether it’s taken place in Kentucky – again took the spotlight in the governor’s race Thursday.
With the release of a letter from a UK clinic saying it performed a small number of "non-genital gender reassignment surgeries" on minors nearing 18 in recent years, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Daniel Cameron has blasted Democratic incumbent Andy Beshear over his claim that the surgeries weren’t taking place in the state.
"Andy Beshear went on television and lied to Kentuckians and said that these procedures aren't happening here in Kentucky," the GOP candidate said. "And there is a report, a letter from the University of Kentucky directly refuting that."
In his weekly press update, the governor maintained no information provided to his office, through LGBTQ rights organization the Fairness Campaign or “major medical providing groups," indicated any surgeries had happened. Beshear went on to lament that the issue had found its way to the forefront of the campaign.
"How has this race gone here?" the incumbent asked. "Daniel Cameron is taking this race to the gutter in a way in a way that I have never seen. Right now, I think if you ask him about climate change, he'll say it's caused by children and gender reassignment surgeries. This race is supposed to be about the issues that impact our families the most."
Republicans have criticized Beshear’s veto of Senate Bill 150, a bill which contained a ban on gender reassignment surgeries for minors, alongside a host of other new measures dealing with transgender healthcare and school policies regarding transgender students.
The governor said Thursday that, had the General Assembly passed a standalone bill barring the surgeries, he would have signed it.