The Respect for Marriage Act Passes, More Threats to Queer Bars, Defying FIFA and More: This Week in Queer News

This week we have two reminders, both regarding this Monday. First, the United States Trans Survey’s extended deadline closes on Monday! If you wish to participate, you can do so here. Second, the Florida Boards of Medicine and Osteopathy are in the process of passing rules that restrict gender-affirming care. Medical decisions should be made between providers, young people, and their families — not politicians. But Governor DeSantis’s unrelenting transphobia and the state agencies he’s weaponized for his own political gain are putting the lives of trans youth at risk. We need to speak out against these proposed rules and protect trans care. The public comment period is open until December 5th, 2022 and you can submit your comment here

The Thing(s) We Won This Week 

This first thing may be somewhat self-aggrandizing for us at the TransFormations Project, but we think it’s relevant. Amid a wave of anti-trans or transphobe-enabling news coverage, NPR has published a piece on the onslaught of anti-trans bills across the country in recent years, and even interviewed our president in the process! You can read the piece here

Second, there is good news out of Ohio. In its current form, HB454k, which would have banned gender affirming care for youth in the state–, s dead. It will likely be reformulated and re-introduced, but for the time being, it has failed

What the Heck Happened This Week!?

As with every week since the new legislative seasons began in earnest, what the heck happened was that there were a ton of anti-trans bills introduced. 

  • In Tennessee, SB0001, a proposed ban on gender-affirming care for minors, has had multiple sponsors added in support of the bill. This signals that Republican leadership in Tennessee is intent on moving this bill forward quickly.
  • SB250 was pre-filed in Texas today. This bill would ban gender-affirming healthcare for minors, with an exception for intersex children. This bill would also prohibit professional liability insurance policies from covering damages related to providing gender-affirming healthcare. Texas also saw SB249 was pre-filed today. This bill would define bottom surgery on minors as genital mutilation, with exceptions made for “corrective” surgeries on intersex people and male circumcision. With such a definition naturally come criminal penalties. Last but not least, Texas republicans also filed a resolution (SC3) which holds that any form of gender affirming care is abuse and mutilation, and signals the party’s intent to outlaw any and all gender-affirming care for youth and, if possible, for adults.
  • Kentucky has introduced a draft bill (384) explicitly declaring transgender people using gender-appropriate bathrooms as a public emergency requiring legislation.
  • In Virginia, SB791 was introduced and sent to the Senate Committee on Education and Health. This SAFE act, like others of its kind, falsely claims that all trans care is experimental and dangerous for minors and should thus be banned. HB1399 was also pre-filed, which would enact a state-wide school sports ban which applies to K-12 and college settings which would prohibit trans students from playing on team sports.
  • HB6503 was introduced and sent to the Michigan House Education Committee today. This bill would ban LGBT subject matter for students in grades K-3, claiming that classroom instruction related to sexual orientation or gender identity isn’t age appropriate.
  • HB1011 was pre-filed in Oklahoma. It would prohibit gender-affirming healthcare, with a felony charge for any procedure, including hair removal or liposuction, done to alleviate gender dysphoria. It is also the first bill to ban gender-affirming care for trans folks up to age 21. This is particularly important because it is the first attempt to outright ban care for adults–while other states have attempted to ban care up to age 19, that was the age of majority in those states. Thus, this bill must be monitored closely.

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