Kentucky lawmaker Pam Stevenson delivers incredible speech as trans rights protesters storm hearing

Trans rights protesters in Kentucky

Amid a chaotic debate in the Kentucky House of Representatives over Senate Bill 150 – one of the harshest anti-trans bills in the US – lawmaker Pam Stevenson delivered an impassioned speech on trans and human rights.

Representative Pamela Stevenson strongly reproached her colleagues on Wednesday (29 March) as trans rights protesters who had stormed the building were being arrested and escorted out.

“You have to ask yourself the question, why would they be doing that?” she said. “Who are we to cause that? None of us said we would come here to hurt people.”

“We have created an environment of hate and then we look at them like there’s something wrong with them,” Stevenson said. “First you hated Black people, then you hated Jews, now you’re hating everybody. So the question is, when it’s the only people left … will you hate yourself?”

Senate Bill 150 has been described by activists as the most oppressive anti-trans law in the country, banning all gender-affirming medical care for trans people under 18 and requiring doctors to detransition minors in current care.

This year has already seen over 470 anti-LGBTQ+ bills – the highest ever – introduced across the nation. The discriminatory bills include bathroom bans, sports bans, drag bans and ‘Don’t Say Gay or Trans’ bills. 

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On Friday (24 March), Democratic governor Andy Beshear vetoed Kentucky’s especially oppressive bill, saying it “tears away the freedom of parents to make important and difficult medical decisions for their kids”.

But the Republican-heavy Kentucky legislature voted on Wednesday to override this and pass it into law, prompting protests en masse.

Stevenson’s invigorating speech rose above the chaos, and her sentiments were bolstered by hundreds of protesters outside the Kentucky Capitol Annex. Stevenson even led the crowd in a chant: “Me, free to be me.”

“This House is for the people, by the people, to serve the people … You go against the people of this state. This is a horrible, horrible session,” Stevenson told her colleagues.

“This bill is horrible because it has nothing to do with the people … somebody’s going to have to atone.”