Acadiana Senator Fred Mills faces backlash for controversial vote against legislation to ban transgender healthcare for minors

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Republican state senator Fred Mills from St. Martin Parish is facing backlash after he casted the tie-breaking vote to kill a bill that would ban gender-affirming healthcare for transgender minors. Mills sided with Democrats to defeat the legislation in Senate Health and Welfare.

“I had people, friends, from across the country texting me last night saying what the hell is going on in Louisiana, how does this happen,” said Louisiana Republican strategist Lionel Rainey.

Right-wing political commentator Matt Walsh said on Twitter Mills sided with butchers and groomers and he’ll regret it.

Rainey says the bill would prevent life-altering medical procedures on youth who are confused about their gender identity.

“It doesn’t make sense, you are changing everything about this child before they have the chance to be able to go through puberty and figure out who it is and what they are going to be,” said Rainey.

But A’niya Robinson, with the Louisiana ACLU, says gender affirming care starts with mental health care and there are very few cases where doctors are performing surgery on a child experiencing gender dysphoria.

“Health care in this state is hard enough to get as it is, so the idea that everyone is getting surgeries, it’s just not accurate,” said Robinson.

Mills said he voted against the legislation because he believes in the doctor-patient relationship and the ability to allow a family to choose what’s best for them. Robinson says Mills and the four other lawmakers who voted against the bill stood up for transgender children and families.

“We are again just so grateful how the day went,” said Robinson.

Mills told the USA Today Network and the Louisiana Illuminator he’s not bothered by the criticism he’s receiving. He says his vote was based on the testimony given during the lengthy debate.

 

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