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Because Of Course

Multiple States Have Already Begun Introducing Anti-Transgender Legislation

Alabama State Capitol Building in Montgomery, Alabama
Paul Brady / Shutterstock.com

2021 was previously determined to be the year with the most anti-LGBTQ legislation passed into law in American history, mostly targeting trans youth. Now, although the year is just beginning, lawmakers across the country in places are already trying to keep that list growing.

At least three states have already had legislators introduce or pre-file bills that hope to restrict trans people’s access to healthcare, sports, and more.

Legislative sessions for most local and state legislative bodies begin or resume in January of each calendar year, which means that there will be many more opportunities for these bills to receive consideration.

“It is January which means states will be starting legislative sessions soon and we will again see gratuitous attacks on trans people, particularly trans youth,” ACLU attorney Chase Strangio tweeted, starting a thread of links and updates regarding some of these bills, as they have done in years past.

“Remember to begin contacting your state senators and representatives to tell them to oppose any anti-trans bills. There will also likely be anti-abortion, anti-‘Critical Race Theory’, and voter suppression measures,” Strangio added. “Be sure to follow proposed laws in your state and TAKE ACTION.”

Arizona State Sen. and notorious Twitter troll Wendy Rogers (R) found time between receiving lawsuits and pushing 2020 election conspiracy theories to pre-file two anti-trans bills in the state’s upper chamber. She seeks to instill legislation that would ban medical gender-affirming healthcare of any kind for trans youth, while also preventing trans youth from participating in sports as their gender.

Republicans in the state have only a one-vote majority in the Senate, and by two in the state House of Representatives. 

A lawmaker in Alabama refiled a bill that previously failed to pass the state’s legislature, which would make it illegal for any medical professional to provide gender-affirming healthcare to anyone under the age of 19 — including talk therapy.

Sen. Shay Shelnutt (R) said in an interview regarding his re-introduction of the bill that he has “no concern” with any issues it may cause the state amongst the LGBTQ community because “They try to [boycott] anyway.” Although the bill did not receive a vote in the Alabama House last year, Republicans have a supermajority in both chambers currently and it passed the Senate before.

In South Dakota, which has already banned trans youth from sports via executive power by Gov. Kristi Noem (R), is seeking multiple new anti-trans proposals.

Noem infamously supported the ban of trans girls and women from sports last year, only to veto the bill passed by the state legislature amidst potential boycott across the state, only to later issue two executive orders defining the ban in her preferred terms.

Now, state legislators have not only re-introduced the legislative version of a ban, but they also introduced a bill that would exclude trans youth from restroom and locker room facilities if passed.

Rep. Rhonda Milstead (R) is proposing the new version of a ban on trans girls in sports. She was previously appointed to her seat by Noem in 2018. “It’s important because females need to be able to participate in sports and not worry about their safety and not worry about being beat out by [trans women],” she claimed, although this is an almost complete copy to the bill Noem denied before.

Rep. Fred Deutsch (R), who has consistently introduced the proposal several times since 2016 — and failed each time — is the sponsor of the second proposal.

Republicans have a supermajority in both chambers of the state’s legislature in South Dakota as well.

There are likely to be more to come out in the coming days, and while many Republican-majority states have the capability of passing them, the likelihood of their induction and implementation is much narrower, especially as civil rights advocates like Strangio and the ACLU will certainly look for a way to challenge them in court.

Still, expect further dehumanization and invalidation of trans people for political clout. It’s a midterm election year, after all.

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