Ban on gender-affirming care progresses after sweeping Senate approval

Some say that if "Chloe's Law" goes through, it could negatively impact the mental health of transgender kids.
A snowy winter day outside the Wyoming State Capitol building on Feb. 12. (Chris Clements/KHOL)

by | Feb 28, 2024 | Health, Politics & Policy

A ban on most gender-affirming care could come to Wyoming out of this year’s legislative session. 

This comes after a similar bill died in the House of Representatives after it failed to be introduced.

That bill would have only banned gender-affirming surgeries in Wyoming. It didn’t outline punishments for physicians, and didn’t outlaw other forms of gender-affirming care like hormone blockers.

“Chloe’s Law” — the bill moving forward — goes further by including both of those points in the bill text.


Sen. Anthony Bouchard (R-Cheyenne) is the sponsor of the legislation. He said he takes issue with the chorus of medical associations and published research that say gender-affirming care can help trans kids with feelings of depression and suicide, as well as self-harming behaviors. 

“They’re saying that this is a proper medical procedure,” said Bouchard. “I disagree with them. I don’t think it is. This is Frankenstein medicine.”

Sara Burlingame is the executive director of Wyoming Equality, a nonprofit organization that advocates for LGBTQ+ residents in the state.

“I’m talking to these families about what it’s like to hear these very heavy, careful, nuanced conversations be reduced to, you know, they’re bad parents, bad people,” said Burlingame. “It takes a heavy toll.”

She said that the kind of rhetoric espoused from lawmakers like Bouchard about trans youth and their families can inflict serious harm. 

“We are awash in language that suggests that people who are seeking the best medical care for their children are actually deviants, and bad people,” Burlingame said.

Bouchard said he anticipates that his ban could run into trouble when it reaches the House.

“I think we have a lot of Republicans that probably need to be in the Democrat party,” he said.

By a vote of 26 to 5, “Chloe’s Law” made it through a third reading in the Senate with extensive approval. It will now move to the House and will need to pass three readings before it would be sent to the Governor’s desk.

This reporting was made possible by a grant from the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, supporting state government coverage in the state. Wyoming Public Media and Jackson Hole Community Radio are partnering to cover state issues both on air and online.

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