(breitbart) – The Tennessee State Legislature passed a bill that would ban the use of puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and surgical operations on children in order to “change” their gender. The legislation now awaits Gov. Bill Lee’s signature.
Lawmakers in the State House passed the legislation 77 to 16, with three Democrats voting with the Republicans.
After allowing for a grace period for those who have already begun to attempt a transition, the bill would authorize the attorney general to investigate healthcare providers who violate the ban, who could be fined up to $25,000.
House Majority Leader William Lamberth remarked that “These children do not need these medical procedures to be able to flourish as adults.”
“They need mental health treatment. They need love and support, and many of them need to be able to grow up to become the individuals that they were intended to be,” Lamberth went on to say.
Similar bills have gained traction in various other Republican-led states, including Nebraska, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and South Carolina.
Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union has signaled that it intends to challenge the bill in court if it is signed into law. “All Tennesseans should have access to the health care they need to survive and thrive,” Lucas Cameron-Vaughn, an ACLU-TN staff attorney, remarked in a statement before going on to argue “Legislators are risking trans young people’s health, wellbeing and safety with this dangerous legislation.”
Tennessee lawmakers promised to take action after an investigation from Daily Wire host Matt Walsh found that Vanderbilt officials had referred to transitions, particularly sex change operations, as “big money makers.”
The investigation first prompted Republican Gov. Bill Lee to call for an investigation into Vanderbilt University Medical Center in September.
In addition, Breitbart News revealed last year that Vanderbilt Health was the sole sponsor of the “kids and family” portion of the Nashville Pride Parade, which included both drag bingo and drag queen story hour.
Tennessee’s State legislature also recently passed a bill that would prevent drag shows from taking place in front of children or on public property. The bill, SB3, is now also heading to Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s desk.