Global Courant 2023-05-19 21:16:58
Laws restricting transgender rights have piled up in recent months, underscoring the likely election battle in 2024.
A rush of legislation targeting transgender people has been introduced, and in some cases passed, in the United States legislature as the subject has become a Republican priority.
The issue is sure to play a major role in the 2024 election as Republicans seek to portray Democrats as out of touch with the values of large parts of the country and to address challenges from farther-right candidates within their own party. to ward off.
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Recently, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nominee, signed into law bills banning gender-affirming care for minors, restricting the use of chosen pronouns in schools, and forcing people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender assigned at birth.
In a statement after the signing, Human Rights Campaign president Kelley Robinson said the measures “to deny transgender children and adults access to life-saving, best-practice medical care(s) violate guidelines recommended by every major medical association. – representing more than 1.3 million. doctors in the United States”.
Every major medical group in the US, including the American Medical Association, has opposed the bans and supported medical care for young people when properly administered. Proponents have long warned that the restrictions further marginalize transgender youth and threaten their health.
Recent legislation goes even further than that signed by DeSantis. A law signed into law by Oklahoma’s governor early this month made it a felony to provide gender-confirmed medical care to minors.
All told, 17 states have recently introduced restrictions on such care, including things like puberty blockers and hormone therapy for transgender youth. They are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, South Dakota, and West Virginia.
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Only three states had passed such restrictions before 2023.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, it is part of a broader trend. It said there will be more than 500 bills introduced by Republicans in 2023 that will affect LGBTQ people. At least 48 have been accepted.
Those numbers are higher than the 315 bills introduced and 29 passed in 2022.
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Like the bills signed by DeSantis, many of these bills target every aspect of a transgender person’s life. Indiana has enacted a law requiring teachers to tell parents when students ask to be called by a new name or pronoun. North Dakota has passed a law that allows educators and public school officials to override the use of transgender people’s preferred pronouns.
Others try to ban trans girls from participating in girls’ sports, require trans people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender assigned at birth, or prevent trans people from changing their gender on identity documents.
More restrictions are expected soon with bills banning gender-affirming care for minors that recently reached the bar of Republican governors in Missouri and Texas and the Nebraska legislature is expected to pass a bill Friday.
Rights groups have responded with a series of lawsuits. On Thursday, Oklahoma’s governor agreed not to enforce his state’s ban as opponents of the law seek a preliminary injunction against the law in federal court. Federal judges have also blocked enforcement of laws in Alabama and Arkansas.
President Joe Biden’s administration has also weighed in. Last month, the Justice Department sued Tennessee to challenge its Republican-backed ban on gender-affirming care for minors, one of several states where it has filed complaints or supported lawsuits.
A group of parents in Florida has sued in federal court to try to overturn rules created by the state’s Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine that have largely banned the provision of gender-affirming care to minors.
Adding the latest law, signed by DeSantis, to their challenge, they wrote in an emergency appeal that the restriction deprives parents of the “fundamental right to make medical decisions for their children” while transgender youth are “incurring a cascade of mental and physical injuries” .