Wyoming Legislature Passes Bill To Ban Transgender Surgeries On Minors

The Wyoming legislature on Thursday passed a bill banning minors from receiving transgender treatments in the state. With the governor’s signature, Sen. Anthony Bouchard’s “Chloe’s Law” legislation will take effect July 1.

Leo Wolfson

March 08, 20243 min read

State Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, and Chloe Cole, a California activist who detransitioned to go back to being a girl. She testified in favor of Senate File 99.
State Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, and Chloe Cole, a California activist who detransitioned to go back to being a girl. She testified in favor of Senate File 99. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

It took seven years, but with his law to prohibit minors in Wyoming from having most transgender treatments, including surgeries, now headed to the governor’s desk for consideration, state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, has passed his first main-sponsored bill.

The Senate voted to pass Senate File 99, formerly called “Chloe’s Law,” 28-2 vote on concurrence Thursday afternoon.

Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, was the only Republican to oppose the bill. Sen. Mike Gierau, D-Jackson, voted for it while Sen. Chris Rothfuss, D-Laramie, opposed it.

A member of the Legislature since 2017, Bouchard hadn’t before passed a bill he was the lead sponsor on, and he said it feels good to get this one through.

“I tend to not introduce ‘run-of-the-mill’ legislation,” Bouchard said. “A bill of this magnitude is what my constituents expect from me. It’s great to deliver for them.”

What It Does

The bill, now titled Children Gender Change Prohibition, prohibits medical professionals from providing gender-change treatments and surgeries to minors in Wyoming in most situations.

The bill also allows for various medical boards to revoke licenses for nurses and pharmacists who break it.

“This bill stops medical providers from mutilating children and prohibits the use of pharmaceuticals to alter normal adolescent development,” Bouchard said. “The real victims, all minors, were never told how they would face a lifetime of medical complications.”

SF 99 was originally called Chloe’s Law, but had its name changed during the legislative process.

It was named after Chloe Cole, a California activist who detransitioned as a teenager and expressed deep regret about having transitioned from being a girl to a boy.

She testified in favor of SF 99 earlier in the session.

Rep. Steve Harshman, R-Casper, successfully added an amendment to the bill Wednesday clarifying that nothing in the legislation shall be construed as stopping a minor from receiving mental health treatment, as long as that treatment does not include anything specifically prohibited in the bill. This amendment passed 36-25.

A similar amendment brought by Rep. J.T. Larson, R-Rock Springs, was voted down as some viewed it as creating a loophole for hormone therapy, puberty blockers and surgeries to be considered mental health treatments.

SF 99 passed the House on a 55-6 vote.

LGBTQ advocacy organization Wyoming Equality opposed SF 99, as did the Wyoming Medical Society.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also opposed the bill, saying Bouchard did not make an effort to work with them to craft legislation that would better fit Wyoming circumstances.

"The pediatricians of Wyoming are disheartened to see the passage of any legislation that serves to further politicize health care," said AAP President Mike Sanderson in a statement to Cowboy State Daily. "Wyoming physicians deliver the highest level of care to our patients while adhering to the strictest of ethical codes."

What’s Next?

If Gordon signs the bill into law or lets it pass into law without his signature, Wyoming will become the 20th state to ban transgender treatments, according to data from the Movement Advancement Project.

It would go into effect July 1.

Although he expressed criticism for legislation that prohibits from transgender girls from participating in girls sports in Wyoming, Gordon still let it pass into law without his signature.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at leo@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter