Republicans have launched at least 10 attacks on trans rights since the start of 2021. It’s been less than three weeks
A swathe of anti-trans bills have been pitched by Republican lawmakers in the US to attack healthcare access for young transgender people.
At least 10 anti-trans bills have been introduced in seven different US states in the first few weeks of 2021. Many target trans youth and gender-affirming healthcare, while others seek to ban trans people from sports and bathrooms, or redefine “child abuse” to include parents who support their trans kids.
This places the start of 2021 in a similar position to 2020, when more than a dozen bills attacking trans youth were put forward in the first month. This led to LGBT+ advocates based in the US concluding that lawmakers were being influenced by conservative anti-LGBT+ groups.
This year, Republicans have sponsored bills that would ban transgender students from playing on the school sports team corresponding to their gender (Montana, New Hampshire); criminalise doctors who provide gender-affirming healthcare to trans youth (Utah, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Alabama); force trans people to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender they were assigned at birth (Indiana); and redefine “child abuse” to include parents who support their trans children in getting gender-affirming healthcare (New Hampshire).
“Many lawmakers continue to threaten the livelihoods of transgender people and their families,” says the website of the Equality Federation, an LGBT+ advocacy organisation and movement-building group that tracks anti-trans bills.
“In the past we’ve seen efforts to ban transgender people from using the bathroom that matches their gender, and attempts to ban transgender people from getting the healthcare they need. More recently, we’re also seeing lawmakers target transgender youth specifically by trying to retract access to affirming healthcare, sports, and facilities that match their gender.
“Discriminatory efforts like these make the journeys of young people more difficult than it needs to be.”
John Fuller, a Republican, proposed HB 112 to “save” women’s sports from transgender women on 5 January.
The short title of the bill is “Require interscholastic athletes to participate under sex assigned at birth”. It bans trans women and girls from playing on women’s sports teams.
Rex Shipp and Curt Bramble, both Republicans, will put forward HB0092. It “prohibits a physician or surgeon from performing a transgender procedure on a minor”.
Suzie Pollock, a Republican, put forward HB33 on 6 January. It would make it illegal for a doctor to provide any trans-related healthcare to an under 18, including prescribing puberty blockers, and any parent or guardian seeking gender-affirming healthcare for their child would be reported.
Bruce Borders introduced HB1456 on 15 January. The Republican bill would make it illegal for trans people to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender – in the wording of the bill, it would become a crime for someone with XX chromosomes to use the men’s bathrooms, or for someone with “at least one Y chromosome” to use the women’s bathrooms.
A second bill, SB0224, introduced by Republicans Dennis Kruze and Jeff Raatz on 7 January, criminalises doctors who provide gender-affirming healthcare to trans youth. It specifically prohibits healthcare workers from “affirm a minor’s gender identity when the identity is inconsistent with the minor’s biological sex”.
Steve Meredith, a Republican, introduced SB83 on 7 January. Gives medical care providers, including doctors and insurance companies, the right to refuse trans people healthcare based on their “conscience” or religious beliefs.
Five Republican men – Wes Allen, Chip Brown, Mike Holmes, Arnold Mooney and Phillip Pettus – will introduce HB1 on 2 February. The bill would make gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth illegal, and would force schools to out trans kids to their parents.
This comes off the back of SB10, which was introduced by Republican Shay Shelnutt.
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Two worrying anti-trans bills are brewing in New Hampshire.
The first, HB198, is sponsored by eight Republicans: Rick Ladd, Ralph Boehm, Glenn Cordelli, Greg Hill, Alicia Lekas, Jeanine Notter, Mark Pearson and James Spillane. It is another attempt to ban trans girls and women from playing on women’s sports teams.
The second, HB68, was put forward by Republican Dave Testerman. If enacted, it would widen the definition of “child abuse” to include parents who support their trans kids in getting gender-affirming healthcare.
Disgustingly, while HB68 makes it “child abuse” for parents to support a trans teenager in getting puberty blockers, hormones or gender-affirming surgery, it makes an exception for intersex babies with “ambiguous genitalia”. This means doctors can continue to non-consensually operate on the genitals of intersex babies to fit more neatly into the male/female gender binary.