A record number of anti-trans bills have been introduced this year, which is insane since we’re not even a quarter of the way through 2021.
A huge number of those pieces of legislation are focused on preventing trans youth from accessing any kind of gender-affirming medical care, while a sizeable chunk is hell-bent on banning trans women and girls from playing sports alongside their cis peers—or put another way, a bunch of them want to keep trans kids from transitioning, and, failing that, a bunch of the others will punish those who do by pushing them out of public life.
I should note that not all of those bills target trans youth. One of the ones in Arkansas, which the state’s Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson (pictured above) signed into law on Friday, Rolling Stone reports, allows medical providers to refuse to treat LGBTQ patients on religious, moral, or ethical grounds even if said treatment is deemed medically necessary except in emergency circumstances.
In short, shit sucks! In slightly less short, here’s a brief rundown of the latest happenings in the GOP’s legislative assault on trans people in the U.S.:
- Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed the Medical Ethics and Diversity Act into law on Friday, which will allow medical providers to deny medically necessary treatment to LGBTQ patients over religious, moral, or ethical objections except in emergency circumstances. [Rolling Stone]
- The day prior, Hutchinson signed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act into law, which bans trans women and girls from competing in school sports alongside cis women and girls. [THV11 CBS]
- Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a similar bill blocking trans athletes from participating in school sports on Friday. [Sports Illustrated]
- As did Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves earlier this month. [Sports Illustrated]
- Over in South Dakota, Gov. Kristi Noem has opted not to sign a trans athlete ban into law (yay!) but only because she wants to redraft it so it specifically only bans K-12 trans athletes from school sports rather than K-12 and college students (boo!). [The Argus Leader]
- Back to Arkansas again, the state is also currently considering a bill that would ban healthcare for trans people under 18 as well as insurance coverage for gender-affirming care for trans people of any age. [ACLU of Arkansas]