Hundreds gather in Forsyth Park to rally against Senate Bill 140

Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 10:53 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Filling Forsyth Park on a Friday evening, hundreds of people identifying as trans and LGBTQ allies want any lawmakers who were in support of Senate Bill 140 to see them and hear them.

“It’s inextricably tied to gender equality in general and all of the things women’s rights movements have been fighting for...trans rights are part of that struggle.”

Senate Bill 140, signed into law by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, makes it illegal for licensed medical professionals in Georgia to provide hormone therapy or gender transition surgery for people under 18 years old.

The only exception - people born with a medically verifiable disorder of sex development.

“The word that comes to mind is not even disbelief. It really is heartbreak.”

The passing of the bill is painful for protestors in Savannah who feel they are unprotected.

“The reason they commit suicide is because they cannot access gender-affirming care. And since this bill is banning it for trans youth, suicide rates are going to go up.”

Many of the protestors including the lead organizers are SCAD students.

“There are a lot more of us than you think and just because we’re SCAD students and only here for a certain time doesn’t mean the laws don’t affect us.”

Age aside, they say they will not allow legislators or people in power to silence them.

“We’ve always been here and we will never go away. You will never kill us.”

And they’re banning together while they fight back...

“Make not a scene but make noise and show people we are here and we aren’t going anywhere.”

If a medical professional violates the legislation, their license could be revoked.

It also states minors who started hormone replacement therapy before July 1, 2023, will be allowed to continue the treatment.