With every state now in legislative session, we can officially say this is the worst session for transgender youth in recent memory. What started last year but was quickly halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down or pausing many 2020 legislative sessions has come back with a vengeance in 2021. Anti-LGBTQ lawmakers, having lost on issues like banning same-sex marriage or preventing transgender people from using restrooms, have now shifted into attacking some of the most vulnerable among us: transgender youth.
As of March 24, there are 286 anti-LGBTQ bills in 36 states. Of these bills, 127 are anti-transgender, setting a new record for the most anti-trans bills introduced in a session. Of these anti-trans bills, 60 are specifically intended to ban transgender youth from playing sports, 36 deny transgender youth best-practice medical care, and the remainder limit transgender people from accessing restrooms, necessary identity documents, and more.
The majority of the remaining anti-LGBTQ bills we are seeing this session are a mix of broad Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs), medical provider refusals, and denying LGBTQ people adoption and foster care services.
We are also seeing the use of joint resolutions, which would put RFRAs and trans sports bans on the ballot in order to amend a state’s constitution. Three states – Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas – are all trying out this tactic to see if they can make LGBTQ discrimination a more permanent part of their state. The fact that in some states, legislators are trying to put LGBTQ rights on the ballot is unacceptable.
At Equality Federation, we are tracking these bills and more through our legislative tracker. We’re working with our national and state-based partners to develop talking points to refute our opponent’s fearmongering and harmful rhetoric. We’re supporting members as they develop strategies to fight back, connecting them with the (unfortunately) many others across the country who are experiencing these attacks. We’re holding monthly meetings to share resources and best practices, writing and reviewing press releases, training spokespeople, and more.
State-based organizations are the ones on the ground, pushing back on these harmful bills and organizing their communities to show anti-LGBTQ lawmakers that they won’t go down without a fight.
Now is the time to get involved. The states below are actively fighting these anti-LGBTQ bills and need your help.
Contact Governor Kay Ivey and tell her to veto HB1/SB10 (medical care ban) and HB 391 (sports ban). Call 334.242.7100.
Contact Governor Asa Hutchinson and tell him to veto HB 1570 (medical care ban) and SB 354 (sports ban). Call 501.682.2345 and email Asa.Hutchinson@governor.arkansas.gov
Email members of the Senate Committee on Education to oppose HB 1475 and SB 2012 (sports bans) and tell them to let kids play using this form: https://secure.everyaction.com/9liA1jh3dUeppkb6KMGVbw2
Join PROMO’s Lobby Day on April 14: https://promoonline.org/events/lobby-day-04142021/
Tell your representatives to vote NO to HB 112 (sports ban), HB 427 (medical care ban), and SB 215 (RFRA). Email http://leg.mt.gov/web-messaging/ or call 406-444-4800.
Contact your representative and tell them to vote NO on Hb 358 (sports ban) here: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/protect-trans-kids-tell-the-ncga-to-vote-no-on-hb-358/
Contact your state senator and tell them to vote NO on HB 1298 (sports ban) through this form: https://act.prairieactionnd.org/letter/HB-1298-Senate/#
Contact Governor Kristi Noem and tell her to stop HB 1217 (sports ban). Call 605.773.3212 and email firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone bank with Transformation Project. Register here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904044aacae22a1f58-antitrans
Visit Tennessee Equality Project’s blog to find out how to fight the record number of anti-LGBTQ bills moving in the state: https://www.tnep.org/blog
Submit written testimony against SB 29 (sports ban) here: https://secure.everyaction.com/cgbaZRCprUC9vd6mep0Blg2
Tell your delegate to vote NO on HB 3293 (sports ban) here: http://fairnesswv.org/transathlete/