Governor Brian P. Kemp speaks during HBCU Advocacy Day at the North Steps inside the Georgia State Capitol on Monday, March 20, 2023. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill into law which forbids transgender people under 18 years of age from receiving therapies and gender-affirming medical procedures. Kemp’s signature came less 48 hours after the Georgia Senate passed the measure, along party lines.

Even though transgender children has written authorization from their parents, they cannot receive gender-affirming therapies and medications. However, the bill does allow individuals to take puberty blockers.

According to Senate Bill 140, hospitals could lose their permits. Additionally, doctors could lose their licenses and be subject to criminal prosecution if they are accused of providing such therapies under-the-table.

“As Georgians, parents, and elected leaders, it is our highest responsibility to safeguard the bright, promising futures of our kids – and SB 140 takes an important step in fulfilling that mission,” Kemp said Thursday in a statement on Twitter.   

“I appreciate the many hours of respectful debate and deliberation by members of the General Assembly that resulted in the final passage of this bill.”

Democrats have criticized the Republicans for their hypocrisy as they pushed for parental rights regarding education, gun ownership, COVID-19 and masking, which books to read and not read while the State of Georgia was in the throes of the pandemic. However, many Democrats believe this bill will usurp the parental right while refusing to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. 

“This bill, in addition to usurping parental rights, also usurps doctor’s professional standards, requiring them to go against the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association, and will face legal consequences,” said State Senator Elena Parent, a Democrat from Atlanta.

Currently, there are 410 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. 175 of those would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...