General News

20 US states file bills targeting trans people

Rachel Badham February 7, 2021

At least 20 American states have recently filed anti-trans bills according to LGBTQ Nation, the majority of which aim to limit trans youth’s access to gender-affirming healthcare or their participation in school sports. 31 bills have been filed in total, with Georgia representative Philip Singleton filing a bill on February 4 that makes it the seventeenth state to consider a bill that would ban trans girls from competing in sporting categories which align with their gender identity. 

Jen Slipakoff, the mother of a 13-year-old transgender student-athlete in Georgia, strongly criticised the creators of the new bill: “I just feel like in the time that we’re in right now – in a global pandemic – we’re going into our second year of being in lockdown and our elected officials have nothing to do other than worry about what’s in someone’s underpants.” Shannon Clawson of LGBTQ+ advocacy group Georgia Equality added: “You can’t claim to be supporting women’s sports when you’re trying to isolate transgender girls from sports. You’re attacking and further isolating transgender youth and keeping them from participating in sports that would allow them to learn very important principles about leadership and teamwork.”

From the American Civil Liberties Union

Minnesota and Utah introduced similar bills this week. Florida state representative, Greg Steube, also put forward the ‘Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2021’ at the end of January, which argues students should be recognised solely on their sex assigned at birth. In addition to bills against trans athletes, over half of the 20 states which have proposed anti-trans legislation are currently considering laws that would ban gender-affirming care for trans people under 21. 

The state bills contradict a recent order by president Joe Biden which prohibits discrimination against trans students, thus ensuring them access to single-sex spaces and sports facilities, saying:  “Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports. It is the policy of my administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.” This means states which continue to discriminate against trans youth could risk the loss of federal funding.