Anti-trans bills are continuing to move through State Legislatures in different corners of the country.
In more than a half-dozen states, lawmakers have introduced legislation targeting trans people, including bills aiming to ban gender-affirming care for minors and make it increasingly difficult for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people to change their gender markers. These efforts are compounded by aggressive campaigns to ban trans athletes from playing sports.
On February 10, House and Senate Committees in Alabama heard arguments on the “Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act,” a bill banning gender-affirming services for trans youth, including puberty blockers, a medicine delaying the permanent and dysphoria-inducing changes of puberty. The bill’s text notes that providers must disclose this medical information to parents, posing an even greater safety risk to trans and non-binary youth.
Meanwhile, in Arizona, legislators have proposed HB 2725, a bill requiring any document issued by a government agency to list sex as “male” or “female.” If passed, this legislation would prevent and curtail non-binary people from seeking gender recognition in the state.
John Fillmore, the bill’s sponsor, introduced the legislation because of his anti-trans bias.
“I proposed this bill just to give clarity in government documents and was hoping to avoid the whole gender identity issue on the gender dysphoria,” Fillmore told lawmakers ahead of the House’s vote, according to KPNX in Phoenix, an NBC affiliate.
Furthermore, Fillmore backed his anti-trans views with transphobic stereotypes.
“What’s going to happen when someday someone wakes up, and they want to go to a far extreme and identify as a chicken or something, for crying out loud. Where do we draw the line?” he asked.
In Georgia, lawmakers have put forward an anti-trans sports bill targeting transgender women and non-binary people. The bill’s text notes that it is unlawful for a school to allow a person assigned male at birth to play in a school sport “designated for females.” Lawmakers from Mississippi and Tennessee have introduced similar bills, garnering support from local House and Senate committees.
There’s no evidence that these policies help cisgender girls and boys. Research compiled by the Center for American Progress (CAP) tout the benefits of gender-affirming sports policies on all youth. The study found inclusive policies combat outdated gender stereotypes and are especially critical for improving mental health and reducing suicidal thoughts among transgender students.
In Iowa, legislators have introduced SF 224, a bill prohibiting all school-aged students from using a bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. Similarly, politicians in South Dakota have introduced SB 124, allowing people to discriminate or refuse services to others based on their “freedom” to exercise their religious beliefs.
Notably, anti-trans bills are rarely spearheaded by the public but are driven by conservative and far-right groups pushing an anti-LGBTQ agenda. As legislators use false and biased research to back their claims, trans, gender-non-conforming, and non-binary people continue to feel the brunt of their harmful effects.
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