After the state legislature overrode his decision on Sunday, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson defended his veto of a bill that prohibits gender reassignment surgery and treatment.
The bill also would have banned the use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.
“I said, that’s too much, and this interferes with patient care. It interferes with parental decisions on an area that science is continuing to learn more about,” said Hutchinson.
According to the New York Post, Republican lawmakers wanted to “protect children from having medical procedures they will regret when they become older,” which is why they overturned the initial decision.
“These are tough areas, tough areas. And what we have to do is, we can debate them on conservative principles, but let’s show compassion and tolerance and understanding as we do that,” the Governor continued.
However, contradicting his apparent views, Hutchinson did sign a bill last month banning transgender women and girls from competing in school sports consistent with their gender identity.
But, Hutchinson said this decision was made to keep school sports fair.
“I did sign the protection for girls in sports, which says biological males cannot compete on a girls team. To me, that’s a fundamental way of making sure girls’ sports can prosper,” he said.
“I want to protect girls’ sports. And I think the people of Arkansas and across the country understand that, if you’re going to have Title IX, if you’re going to have importance in women’s sports, there has to be some level of integrity.”