Transgender issues arise in Nebraska Legislature

One bill would ban sex alteration procedures for minors

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) —A Nebraska state senator has introduced a pair of bills about transgender youth.

The Let Them Grow Act by Sen. Kathleen Kauth of Omaha would ban any sex alteration procedures for people under 19. 

Some examples of that are puberty blockers, hormone therapy or sex-altering surgery. 

Sen. Julie Slama is one of several senators supporting the bill. 

“The decision to undergo very major surgeries that are life-changing and permanent need to be done when the person is of the age that they can consent to anything else in the state,” she said. 

Sen. John Fredrickson from Omaha opposes the bill and said he was disappointed after seeing it introduced. 

“Fifty percent of LGBTQ youth in Nebraska considered suicide this past year,” he said. “Fifty-eight percent of transgender and nonbinary youth considered suicide in the state of Nebraska last year.”

Fredrickson said LGBTQ youth need to know that they belong in Nebraska. 

Kauth’s other bill is the Sports and Spaces Act.

It would limit the participation of transgender youth athletes to school sports teams for their sex assigned at birth. 

“Sen. Kauth’s bill … ensures that we don’t have girls competing against biological men,” Slama said. “It evens out the playing field, makes it fair for everyone and really locks in those gender protections.”

Currently, the Nebraska School Activities Association has a process by which transgender students can play sports consistent with their gender identity. 

Fredrickson said Nebraskans are concerned about property taxes, inflation and education. He said legislators should not be focusing on these types of bills. 

“This is part of a national effort,” he said. “We’ve been seeing this nationwide, that there are conservative attacks on the LGBTQ community. It’s unfortunate; it’s something that we will continue to speak up against.”

Wednesday was the last day for the introduction of bills in the Legislature. Now the bills will go to committee hearings, which start on Monday.

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