Wave of anti-trans laws strips human rights

Nearly half of the country’s state legislatures and state representatives have introduced bills in favor of anti-trans laws that negatively impact trans people in ridiculous ways and violate their ability to lead a normal life. This ongoing, disgusting wave of hate against the LGBT community has transformed the daily lives of many transgender individuals into a never-ending battle for the bare minimum.

The year of 2021 will go down in history as the record-breaking year for the most anti-transgender legislation ever introduced in U.S. history, with 28 states having proposed at least one anti-trans bill, according to the Human Right Campaign. Of the 82 introduced anti-transgender bills, 65 bills specifically target trans youth, and these bills range anywhere from prohibiting access to essential medical care from doctors to limiting their participation in high school sports.

Arkansas shamefully became the first state to pass a bill that would prohibit doctors from providing trans minors with hormone treatment or surgery. HB 1570, known as the Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act, passed the Senate with a 28-7 vote and was initially vetoed by Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. But the state legislature voted to override the veto and pass the bill, a first of its kind in the nation.

Florida joined the anti-trans laws wave and passed HB 1457 on Wednesday with a 77-40 vote, having only one Democrat voting in favor and no Republicans voting against it. The bill requires female athletes to prove their birth gender through a genetic test, testosterone level test or an examination of their reproductive anatomy by a doctor if a competitor or school suspects the athlete was not female at birth.

Minnesota’s Rep. Eric Lucero (R) went as far as introducing HF 1657, which would charge trans women with a misdemeanor for attempting to participate in women’s school sports or use the women’s locker room. And this is just one of the three bills Minnesota introduced to ban trans youth from competing in school sports teams.

The state of Georgia takes this trans youth ban even further with two of their own bills, SB 266 and HB 276. These bills would ban trans youth from participating in sports on a collegiate level, even within private institutions.

But these vile and reprehensible acts of hate and ignorance do not stop there. Doctors and the medical industry are too being pressured to discriminate against trans people.

Arizona plans to prohibit doctors from providing any form of hormone therapy or puberty blockers to trans youth with SB 1511. Both of these forms of treatment help slow down the development of secondary sex characteristics when a child reaches puberty, and therefore give more time for trans youth to solidify their gender identity. What was once a helpful tool for trans youth is now something doctors in many states could face more than a decade in prison if they continue to provide these services. 

Trans adults could also be at risk in states like Montana, where the bill SB 245 would make it legal for health care providers and insurance companies to refuse to cover or treat transgender patients simply because they are trans.

Far-right lobby groups like Alliance Defending Freedom are leading this stigmatizing movement to marginalize even further the trans community. We must call on our policymakers to do the right thing and overturn these heinous bills that have no place in our modern and progressive society.

To get involved and help the trans community, you can visit GLSEN, the Human Rights Campaign or GLAAD Transgender Resources. To stay up to date with legislation targeting the LGBT community, you can visit Freedom For All Americans.

Unsigned editorials represent the opinion of the Campus Times Editorial Board.

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