More than 100 bills targeting LGBTQ rights and queer lives. — From transgender health care to drag shows — have been filed in 22 states for 2023. Leading advocates to expect this year to set a new record for anti-LGBTQ legislation.
So far, Texas has led the way with 36 such bills, according to Equality Texas. A statewide LGBTQ advocacy group. Missouri has 26, followed by North Dakota with eight and Oklahoma with six.
Most of these approximately 120 bills focus on transgender youth.
Continuing a trend that began two years ago.
In the past three years, 18 states have banned transgender student. Athletes from competing on school sports teams. That align with their gender identity rather. Than their birth sex, according to the Movement. Advancement Project, an LGBTQ think tank. Four states — Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee and Arizona. — Have enacted restrictions on sex-affirming medical care for minors. Though federal judges have blocked them from taking effect in Arkansas and Alabama.
At least three state lawmakers this year. Have introduced bills to restrict transgender girls. And women from playing on women’s sports teams. And at least 11 state lawmakers have proposed bills. That would limit gender-affirming health care for minors.
According to Chase Strangio, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT. And HIV Project, for the third year in a row, efforts to restrict LGBTQ rights and queer lives have been on the rise. Strangio, an attorney representing transgender youth. And their parents in their lawsuit against Arkansas’ ban on gender-affirming medical care. Said he expected the number of anti-LGBTQ bills filed this year to exceed last year’s. While more than 340 such bills have reached state legislatures. According to an estimate by the Human Rights Campaign.
He said he is most concerned about restricting access to gender.
-Affirming care in more states and. If the makeup of Congress becomes more conservative in 2024, a possible federal ban.
“The rightward shift of state legislatures is scary,” he said. “We are seeing continued erosion. And attempts to regulate and narrow and limit autonomy across the board. … There are a lot of things that I think people are taking for granted. Those who live in states like New York and California. And not paying attention to what’s going on in states like Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
A bill transgender advocates are particularly concerned about is an Oklahoma proposal. That would bar transition-related care not for minors. But for anyone under 26; It would also prohibit Medicaid from covering such care.
State Sen. David Bullard, a Republican sponsor of the bill, told The Oklahoman. That gender-affirming medical care is “a permanent. Change to your body that cannot be reversed.
“At 21 you can drink, but at the end of the day.
If you decide to put down alcohol, you can put down alcohol,” Bullard told The Oklahoman. “But with this surgery, there’s no going back. We want to make sure the brain is developed before we do this type of surgery, permanent stuff.”
Bullard did not immediately return a request for comment.
Accredited medical associations—including the American Medical Association. The American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychological Association. —Have endorsed gender-affirming care for minors.
Advocates and doctors who treat trans youth say many of the health. Care restrictions proposed by state legislators misrepresent what makes up gender-affirming care. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health. Anonprofit professional and educational organization dedicated to transgender health. Does not recommend medical intervention before puberty.
Before puberty, trans youth can change. Meaning they can change their names, pronouns, and clothing. For some transgender youth, going through puberty in their birth. Gender can have a negative impact on their mental health. So WPATH recommends anti-puberty medication in the early. Stages of puberty (Tanner Stage 2), which stops puberty, or similar. Phase hormone therapy, but only if they meet a list of criteria. Gender-affirming surgery for minors, even after puberty, is rare.