The Missouri House on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to bills that would ban certain medical procedures for transgender minors and ban transgender athletes from competing in school sports based on their gender identity.

The legislation is similar to a pair of Senate bills the chamber approved last month. A House committee was held A public hearing on that Senate bill Tuesday night.

The ban on gender-affirming care drew the most discussion, and two Republicans voted 106-45 to vote “no” from their party.Lone Jack’s Republican Rep. Chris Sander, who is openly gay, voted “no” along with House Majority Leader John Patterson, R-Lee’s Summit, who is a doctor.

The bill by Rep. Jamie Berger, R-Benton, was approved by a vote of 107-41. Sander voted “no” again, along with Republican Rep. Tony Lovasco of O’Fallon. Rep. Alan Gray of Florissant was the only Democrat to vote for the bill on Tuesday.

Both bills must be approved once more in the House before moving to the Senate.

Rep. Brad Hudson, R-Cape Fair said his bill Transgender health care remains consistent throughout the legislative process.

“We are trying to protect Missouri children from unnecessary and harmful gender reassignment medications and surgeries,” she said.

Hudson amended the bill during House debate on Tuesday to make it “as much like the Senate bill as possible” — though he left out provisions he found objectionable, such as a four-year sunset clause on a ban on hormone therapy that would have resulted in Compromise followed by a Democratic filibuster.

The Senate bill includes a provision for those who have already begun medical transitions. Hudson said his bill should not have a grandfather clause.

“It’s just common sense,” Hudson said. “Think about smoking cigarettes, or drinking alcohol, gambling, consenting to sexual activity. There are many substances and things that we as a society agree that children should not be exposed to and involved in because they have not yet developed cognitively where they fully understand the life-changing consequences of decisions that they may make. to create.”

Republican representatives echoed Hudson’s sentiment that the bill was about protecting children, including Rep. Justin Sparks of Wildwood, who filed a similar bill this session.

“If I’m wrong, [transgender children] lose time [on medication],” she said. “If they’re wrong, they’ll lose the ability to have a family forever.”

Rep. Ashley Aoun, D-Kansas City, said she received an anonymous letter from the parent of a transgender girl.

“One of the challenges is dealing with the sensitivity of the issue, when people who are simply advocating for their own civil rights are too afraid to advocate for themselves for fear of retribution,” Aoun said.

The child had been “increasingly withdrawn, depressed and anxious” since eighth grade and came out to the parents at age 16, the letter said.

“‘Living in this male body is causing our child severe emotional distress known as gender dysphoria,'” Aoun read the letter. “‘Gender-affirming care allows babies to feel more right in the skin they’re born in. The knowledge that there is treatment gives my child hope… Don’t take that hope away from my child or any other child,’” Aoun read.

Rep. Kerry Ingle, D-Lee’s Summit, said he did not expect to discuss the bill Tuesday (Annelles Hanshaw/Missouri Independent).

Rep. Robert Sauls, D-Independence, said parents are urging the Legislature not to enact the bill.

“For the impact this bill will have on children and parents, this bill is unconstitutional,” Sauls argued. “Eventually, it will be declared unconstitutional.”

Arkansas, the first state to ban sex-affirming care for minors, Facing legal challenges in its law. That case has been ongoing since 2021.

Hudson’s bill includes an amendment proposed by Rep. Ben Baker, R-Neosho, in committee that would prevent Missourians in prison from accessing gender-affirming care.

A case in Missouri, however, sets the precedent that people with gender dysphoria must be able to receive gender-affirming care, even if they haven’t yet started treatment before prison.

Jessica Hicklin Missouri Department of Corrections policy sued for hormone access after breaking federal law and claiming transgender people who didn’t start treatment weren’t able to receive it; A federal court overturned Missouri’s ruling, As reported by the Associated Press.

Democrats offered a handful of amendments that were rejected as unrelated to the original bill.

Rep. Sarah Unsicker, D-Shrewsbury, proposed an amendment called the “Missouri Declaration of the Rights of the Child.”

The amendment provided rights for minors, viz., “Children’s right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. It states that the best interests of the child should be the primary concern of the institution.

Rep. Dean Van Schwack, R-Savannah, called a point of order, saying Unseeker’s amendment was inconsistent.

“We’re all here to protect our children,” Ansikar said in his argument for the proposal.

The amendment was struck out of order.

Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis, tried to amend the bill to remove language about gender-affirming care and instead ban children from carrying guns.

That too was dismissed on point of order.

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, made a motion to postpone discussion of the bill indefinitely, charging that the body is not ready to make a decision.

Rep. Patty Lewis, D-Kansas City, argued that the legislation’s sponsors were not present when their bill’s opponents testified during a committee hearing earlier this year.

Hudson said he heard testimony from his office not to take chairs in committee hearing rooms from those who were there to testify. He said he also spoke with a parent outside his office during the hearing who opposed his bill.

Sander was the only Republican in favor of suspending the talks. Quad’s motion was ultimately defeated.

“I just think there should be more debate on this,” Sander said, calling the bill a “legal mess.”

Rep. Kerry Ingle, D-Lee’s Summit, said the legislation at issue Tuesday is not in line with other GOP positions.

“Aren’t we always talking about parental rights?” she asked. “But no, people of this body, many of you don’t even have children, as you well know.”

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