Republican lawmaker booed after grilling trans doctor about her genitals: ‘Do you have a penis?’

Matt McKee during the Arkansas Judiciary Committee meeting.

Arkansas senator Matt McKee was booed during a judiciary committee this week after asking a trans woman about her genitals.

McKee made the “sickening” remarks during a judiciary committee meeting on Senate bill 199.

The Arkansas bill would allow malpractice lawsuits to be filed against Arkansas doctors who provide gender-affirming care to trans youth.

It was filed on 6 February by Republican senator Gary Stubblefield in an effort to prevent transgender under-18s from accessing medical services, including physically reversible puberty blockers.

As part of a committee hearing on the proposed law, trans woman and owner of Park West Pharmacy in Little Rock, Dr Gwendolyn Paige Herzig, spoke against the bill.

“Bills like Senate Bill 199 are designer to hinder, not help Arkansans by creating barriers to the evidence-driven health care they deserve under the guise of protecting the young and innocent,” Herzig said during the hearing.

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In response, senator McKee responded by shamelessly asking: “Do you have a penis?”

After members of the public hearing audibly booed the question, including one audience member calling it “shameful,” Herzig replied: “That’s horrible.”

“You’re the one that brought that into the discussion,” McKee replied back without a hint of irony.

Elsewhere in the committee, Stubblefield claimed he had spoken to a transgender child who had decided to get surgery “off of TikTok,” claiming that “the Chinese” had shown it to her.

Not only are trans youth not permitted to undergo gender-affirming surgeries anywhere in the US, there is no evidence to suggest TikTok has, in any way, influenced youth to undergo surgical procedures.

Despite the plethora of evidence put forward during the committee that suggests SB199 would have a negative impact on trans youth, the bill passed an oral vote.

Democratic senator Clarke Tucker, who was on the committee, said the bill wouldn’t affect “99 per cent of Arkansans,” but that it sends a clear message of vitriol against the trans community.

“[Gender-affirming care] lets them know that they are loved and affirmed for who they are,” Tucker said. “The people that [this bill] does affect, the message they receive is that the state they live in hates them.”

Anti-LGBTQ+ bills filed in the US have reached a worrying all-time high in 2023 already.

Legislative researcher Allison Chapman highlighted that over 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills, most of which target the trans community, have been filed in 2023.

91 of these bills aim to ban gender-affirming care in the state, predominantly for trans youth.

Comparatively, only 107 pro-LGBTQ+ bills have been filed this year so far.