(TNS) In a last-minute switch on Thursday, Republicans have revived an omnibus anti-LGBTQ bill, which includes a ban on gender-affirming health care for Kentucky’s transgender youth.

Less than a day after Senate Republicans voted to dramatically scale back a bill that many in the party said went too far because it left trans kids with no health care options, Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, and Rep. David Meade, R-Stanford, introduced an amended version of Senate Bill 150 that would do just that.

It’s the latest sign of disunity among Kentucky Republicans in a session marked by a raft of GOP legislation to combat “woke” issues. The final days of the Legislature’s regular session have revealed division and infighting among the political majority as they grapple with how far to wade into national culture wars.

Before the House Education Committee Thursday morning, Wise and Meade introduced an amendment to Senate Bill 150. The bill in its original form prohibits schools from requiring or recommending teachers use a trans student’s preferred pronouns, and required schools to notify parents when curriculum related to human sexuality was going to be taught.

On top of that, it now includes portions of House Bill 177, banning “any child regardless of grade level” from receiving presentation or instruction “studying or exploring gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.”

It also includes a provision potentially restricting transgender students’ use of school bathrooms. The bill requires that schools develop a bathroom policy that protects students’ “privacy rights” as outlined in a section that condemns allowing trans students to use a bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. That section does not mandate that schools or districts ban trans students from using a bathroom that corresponds with their identity, but strongly suggests they should.

And, perhaps most notably, Wise’s amended bill revives earlier versions of House Bill 470 from Rep. Jennifer Decker, R-Waddy, to enact an out right ban on all gender-affirming care for youth with gender dysphoria in Kentucky. It would outlaw the standard of care treatment for this population by outlawing gender reassignment surgery, the prescription of puberty blockers and hormones, and inpatient and outpatient gender-affirming hospital services for anyone under age 18.

Meade, when asked by Rep. Tina Bojanowski, D-Louisville, whether they consulted health care providers or families of trans Kentuckians, said hastily that they had.

“I think that, as you saw in the testimony on the floor and in committee, there is evidence this is harmful to children,” Meade said, referencing people who testified in favor of Decker’s bill, most of whom were from out of state. Doctors on behalf of the Kentucky Medical Association, the Kentucky chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Psychological Association testified in strong opposition to the bill. “Our job is to protect children, and that’s what we’re doing here,” Meade added.

The committee passed the amended omnibus bill, but not along party lines.

After voting no, Rep. Killian Timoney, R-Lexington, said, “You can’t throw a brick at a school without hitting the kid with an identity issue. I mean, that’s what schools are about, particularly middle and high.”

“I think that it’s more important to support kids through the process than it is to pass legislation on who they are,” Timoney added, saying his “no” vote was informed by his faith.

“I know it’s tied to people’s values,” he said, with tears beginning to form in his eyes. “I’m not going to comment on how my values might be different, but I just know that when I stand before God on my judgment day, he’s gonna say, ‘who did you love?’ And I’m gonna say ‘everybody.’”

Chris Hartman, executive director of the Fairness Campaign, and LGBTQ advocacy group, called the committee substitute a “cheap, 11th-hour” trick because “you cannot get this done any other way.”

Hartman, shouting, told the committee, “You are will have spent more time debating transgender children and their rights and their parents’ rights to obtain the life-saving medical care that they need than childhood poverty, than housing insecurity, than disaster relief, in this session combined.”

Mason Chernosky, a trans man, echoed Hartman’s complaints against the process by which the bill was changed on the last day before the veto break. He said that Democrats and LGBTQ advocates didn’t know about the committee meeting until mere moments before it began.

“Trans people are always going to be here. Trans kids are always going to be here. That is the message. I want people to hear that no matter what, we are going to live through this. We have lived through so much worse and we can live through this too,” Chernosky said.

Rep. Josie Raymond, D-Louisville, who voted against the original version of House Bill 470 and again voted no on Thursday in committee, said, through tears, “This harms kids in every single school in this commonwealth. If you don’t believe me, you just don’t know it. I’m embarrassed and I’m appalled, and I’m scared. And I vote no.”

The House has already passed a ban on gender-affirming care, so the committee substitute is likely to pass the full chamber today. However, it’s not clear if the Senate will concur with the altered SB 150, as the GOP caucus showed Wednesday night it is still deeply divided on how far to take limits on care for trans kids.

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