Late Tuesday, at the end of an eight-hour session, the Indiana Senate passed Senate Bill 480, which would prohibit transgender children from receiving gender-affirming surgeries, hormonal therapy and other medications.

Bill author Sen. Tyler Johnson (above), R-Leo, repeatedly said the legislative body has a moral, medical and legal obligation to protect kids from harm.

However, Sen. Andrea Hunley, D-Indianapolis, said parents’ rights and the safety of trans children were at stake.

“Parents do not choose pain for their children. Parents do not choose for their children to struggle in any way, whether that’s struggling in school, whether that’s struggling when they’re taking their driver’s exams, or whether they’re struggling with their gender identity,” she said. “Parents don’t choose that for their kids because we don’t want our children to feel pain, but parents work really hard to know what’s best for their children. And sometimes we disagree with what parents believe is best.”

Sen. Shelli Yoder, D-Bloomington, went further, saying the legislature was in fact “bullying children.”

Only two Republicans, Sen. Ron Alting, R-Lafayette, and Sen. Vaneta Becker, R-Evansville,  joined Democrats in voting against the bill, which passed 36-12.

Xain Ballenger is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.