The Washington Post: The GOP’s anti-transgender bills are ignorance in action

Five years after the state’s notorious House Bill 2 or HB2, Republican legislators are back with a slew of discriminatory bills that targets the state’s transgender and gender-nonconforming communities.

North Carolina’s Senate Bill 514, Senate Bill 515, and House Bill 358 mirrors the rising trend of transphobic legislation across the country, blatantly attacking gender-affirming healthcare, transgender youth participation in sports and creates a ‘license to discriminate’ for medical providers.

If passed, these bills would harm the health and well-being of transgender youth in North Carolina, at a time when transgender kids are already discriminated against for being who they are. 

From The Washington Post:

This bill is bad. This bill is bad for many moral reasons, not the least of which is that it puts random government bureaucrats in charge of personally deciding who is gender appropriate, and that outing transgender kids to their guardians could actively put them in danger.

These bills are legally, logically and linguistically incoherent, and there is a reason for that: because they come from a place of emotional incoherence. They are not based on widespread statistics of transgender athletes elbowing cisgender girls out of college athletic scholarships; those statistics do not exist. They are not based on studies revealing that the majority of transgender youth regret hormonal intervention; the majority report the opposite.

What they seem to be based on is a combination of ignorance and discomfort. They seem to be based on lawmakers being terrified of transgender people but also being vaguely aware that, in 2021, they shouldn’t say that outright. Better to be “saving women’s sports” or “saving adolescents from experimentation.” The Pretend LGBTQ Kids Don’t Exist Act would sound, I dunno, too delusional?

These bills are silly. These bills are paranoid. These bills are lying. And most of all, these bills are offensive. 

According to the ACLU, more than 100 anti-trans bills have been introduced in legislatures across the country.

The state Republican’s 3 anti-LGBTQ bills comes as state Democrats are pushing for a
package of LGBTQ-inclusive bills, called the Equality for All Act. If passed, the act establishes statewide nondiscrimination protections, bans on “conversion therapy” and the “gay/trans panic” defense, and a full repeal of HB142.

While local cities and counties are making steps toward expanding protections through LGBTQ-inclusive ordinances and non-discrimination ordinances, Republicans are adamantly attacking the most vulnerable members of our communities.

Just as a number of large companies and athletic organizations pulled out of the state after the passage of HB2, we must come together again and demand companies that line the pockets of Republican legislators to make a stand against supporting legislators using the LGBTQ community as a scapegoat rather than promoting inclusive policies that ensures everyone can live in our state as their authentic self.

Bottom Line: With voter suppression efforts, anti-LGBTQ bills and refusal to back COVID-19 relief, it’s clear that the GOP is prioritizing fueling hate through an assault on our democracy and the freedoms and wellbeing of our communities. 

As Allison Scott from the Campaign for Southern Equality stated, “To categorically deny transgender students the freedom to play alongside their peers is at odds with lawmakers’ duties to care for and protect our youth. To all of the transgender youth feeling attacked by this bill and others like it nationwide, I want to be sure you understand that you are loved, you are seen, and we are fighting with you”.

Alanna Joyner

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