Arkansas governor: Veto on trans youth bill was a 'message of compassion and conservatism'

Arkansas governor: Veto on trans youth bill was a 'message of compassion and conservatism'
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Arkansas Gov. Asa HutchinsonAsa HutchinsonGenetic material from 1993 killing revealed years after another man executed for crime, groups say Arkansas governor allows bill targeting critical race theory in state agencies to become law Pennsylvania gov says he'll veto ban on transgender athletes in women's sports MORE (R) said on Sunday that his decision to veto the transgender youth healthcare ban was a “message of compassion and conservatism,” saying it aligned with his conservative belief in limited government.

Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Hutchinson acknowledged the blowback he has received from his party for his veto of the bill. Former President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal MORE referred to Hutchinson as a “a dumb son of a bitch” during a recent event.

Hutchinson told host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperClyburn says he's willing to compromise on qualified immunity in policing bill GOP divided over expected Cheney ouster GOP governor says Republican Party has to allow for differences MORE that he thought it was important for any political party to have “vigorous debate about an important issue.”

“Let's get back to our principles. Let's stop the personality divisions that we have and focus on really the historic role that we played which is a voice for smaller government not bigger government not government solutions but free enterprise solutions,” Hutchinson said, “It is compassionate to say we care for all our young people, whether they're trans youth or otherwise, we care for them. And that's the message of compassion and conservatism that we need to have as a party.”

Hutchinson vetoed a GOP-led bill last week that would have banned all gender reassignment surgeries and treatments for trans youth. 

"If [the bill] becomes law we are creating new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters dealing with young people," Hutchinson said at the time.

The Arkansas state legislature later voted to override Hutchinson's veto. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has promised it will file a lawsuit to prevent the bill from being enforced.

Earlier this year, Hutchinson signed another bill that banned transgender youths from participating in sports teams that align with their gender identity, though he openly acknowledged that there were little or no instances of trans girls participating in sports in Arkansas.

"In this case I did sign the protection for girls and 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," Hutchinson said. "But at the same time you're sending a signal that trans youth does not care and so when that third bill came to me. I said that's too much and this interferes with patient care, it interferes with parental decisions on an area that the science is continuing to learn more about."

"We can debate them on conservative principles but let's show compassion and tolerance and understanding as we do that and that's the simple message that I think is important for our party," he added.