Some Anti-Trans Bills Fail, Others Hang in the Balance

Protestors in front of the South Dakota Capitol last year.
Twitter/ @ACLUSouthDakota

The lower house of Montana’s State Legislature voted down HB113, a bill criminalizing physicians for providing gender-affirming care to transgender youth, but other anti-trans bills are gaining momentum in the US.

HB112, a bill banning trans youth in Montana from participating in sex-segregated sports, is heading to the State Senate, and GOP legislators in North Dakota are hoping to pass similar legislation, HB1298, which would prohibit trans people from playing on a sports team that corresponds with their gender identity.

Under HB 1076 in South Dakota, legislators want birth certificates to reflect a person’s “biological sex.” This measure would prevent trans people from correcting the gender listed on their birth certificate and it poses safety risks. The bill initially died in the House Committee, but then a “smoke out” rule revived it, and now there are scheduled hearings on the House floor.

ACLU attorney Chase Strangio, who has played a crucial role defending LGBTQ rights in major court cases, praised the outcome of HB113 but noted the long journey ahead.

“As in South Dakota, these bills, like zombies, rarely die on the first try,” Strangio wrote on Twitter. “They come back to try to hurt us again but we fight on! Stay vigilant. Hopefully, we can defeat HB 113 once and for all tomorrow and continue the fight against HB112.”

Strangio said that the sports bills are “dangerous,” “cruel” and will cost the state millions.

Politicians backing this legislation are using false, transphobic, and discriminatory evidence to support their claims. If passed, the legislation will have devastating effects on the mental and physical health of transgender, gender-non-conforming, and non-binary individuals.

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