Wyoming Ban On Child Sex-Change Surgeries Passes Senate 26-5; Concern Over Court Challenges, However

While a measure that would stop transgender-related treatments for kids, including sex changes, has sailed through the Wyoming Senate with ease, there are concerns that court challenges could arise.

Clair McFarland

February 08, 20232 min read

Luka Hein testifies 2 2 3 23
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Though the Wyoming Senate passed Chloe’s Law with almost no difficulty, the bill may have a feature that could land the state in court if it becomes law.  

Chloe’s Law, aka Senate File 144, proposes to forbid doctors from performing or prescribing transgender-related treatments for kids and would restrict insurance companies from covering such treatments.  

It sailed through its first two Senate votes this week with almost no discussion on the chamber floor.

However, Sen. Stephan Pappas, R-Cheyenne, paused the third floor vote Wednesday due to a concern that the bill’s provision against insurance companies could hamstring them between following state law and a federal law requiring them to cover transgender-related treatments when medically necessary.

The Senate did not act on Pappas’ concern and the majority of senators – including Pappas – voted to send the bill to the state House of Representatives, with 26 in favor and five against the bill.

Wednesday also did not produce fiery discussion of the bill, however bill sponsor Sen. Anthony Bouchard retorted that insurance companies did not oppose the bill during its committee hearing last week.

The five delegates who voted against Chloe’s Law were Republican Sens. Fred Baldwin (Kemmerer), Jim Anderson (Casper) and Cale Case (Lander); and Democratic Sens. Chris Rothfuss (Laramie) and Mike Gierau (Jackson).   


Wyoming Insurance Commissioner Jeff Rude said the bill would indeed create friction between the state and federal laws.  

“Under the Affordable Care Act there’s a requirement for care, and it involves gender identity, sexual orientation, things of that nature,” said Rude. 

But as with other medical treatments, the patient must demonstrate that the desired treatment is medically necessary to win coverage, Rude added.  

“It puts (insurers) in a difficult spot,” he continued, adding that it’s Wyoming, not insurance companies, that would be sued following a dispute. 

“Since we (Wyoming) brought the law, the insurance companies will say, ‘Well, we haven’t done anything wrong. Please sue the right party,’” said Rude. 

There are similar lawsuits in other states following such legislation, he said.  

Share this article



Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter