'Only thing I have is time': Nebraska Sen. unmoved by colleagues’ frustration as she blocks anti-trans bill

'Only thing I have is time': Nebraska Sen. unmoved by colleagues’ frustration as she blocks anti-trans bill
Nebraska State Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh, Image via Screengrab/Twitter

Nebraska State Senator Machaela Cavanaugh (D) will not allow her fellow lawmakers to pass anti-trans legislation, and she does not apologize for it.

The bill, LB 574, which "would ban doctors from providing gender-affirming medical care to anyone under the age of 19," was set to move forward two months ago, but Rolling Stonereported in March the senator"has filibustered every single piece of legislation related to such a ban.

In February, Cavanaugh told Esquire she "will do anything she can do to make life 'painful' for her GOP colleagues if they proceed with the bill."

READ MORE: 'I will burn the session to the ground' over anti-trans bill, says Nebraska Democrat

Today, the Democratic lawmaker's mission remains the same, she tells The Guardian.

"If this bill passes, it will be tragic for the trans community in Nebraska," she says. "It will be tragic for Nebraska writ large … And then it's likely to be overturned in the courts. And so we will have done all of this harm and it won't even get the result that they wanted."

Cavanaugh does not much help in her efforts.

"I just wish my colleagues would come together and acknowledge this is bad for the state. But they've chosen legislating a hateful bill," she emphasizes.

"I'm in the minority party here – the only thing I have is time," the senator asserts. "We have a 90-day session and a limited amount of hours in which we can accomplish whatever we want to accomplish. And so I decided I was going to take control of that commodity. That's what I've been doing ever since."

READ MORE: Nebraska Democrat rips Republicans for telling women 'to get a better husband'

The determined lawmaker says the bill "targets a vulnerable minority population in such a vicious manner as to deny them access to lifesaving healthcare," adding, "They are targeting children. I don't view it as an option to do anything other than fight against it. That's my job as an elected official."

Cavanaugh also acknowledges her colleagues are not happy with her — but her concern is protecting the lives of trans people.

"I think everyone I work with would say that I am a substantial roadblock," she adds. "They all are as frustrated with me as I am frustrated with all of it … It still has one more round of debate, and it could fail or pass. If it fails, I will stop talking. And if it passes, I will continue talking."

READ MORE: 'Woman of my word': Why this Nebraska senator's filibuster of anti-trans bill is still going

The Guardian's full report is available at this link (subscription required).

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