US: 2021 Record Year For Anti-Trans Legislation – HRC

Legislation filed [in the US] this week [marks] the 80th, 81st, and 82nd anti-transgender bill introduced in the 2021 state legislative session, surpassing the 2020 total of 79, and marking the highest number of anti-transgender bills in history.

The anti-transgender legislation filed, in the last two days, includes South Carolina HB 4047 (an anti-transgender medical care ban), Texas SB 1311 (an anti-transgender medical care ban), and Michigan SB 218 (an anti-transgender sports ban).

The Human Rights Campaign has been tracking anti-transgender legislation across state legislatures for decades, including [..] the surge in anti-LGBTQ state legislation since 2015. The legislative fight to pass discriminatory anti-transgender legislation this year has been fast and furious, led by national groups aiming to stymie LGBTQ progress.

Human Rights Campaign President, Alphonso David, issued the following statement in response to a record-setting anti-transgender legislative session:

These bills are not addressing any real problem, and they’re not being requested by constituents. Rather, this effort is being driven by national far-right organizations attempting to score political points by sowing fear and hate. What they don’t understand is opposing equality is highly unpopular — even among Trump voters — and states that pass legislation that attacks our community will face severe economic, legal, and reputational harm. In many cases, these legislative pushes are being prioritized above COVID-19 response and relief. This push comes as equality measures gain not only popular support but legislative momentum on the federal level, with the Biden Administration championing equality in early Executive Actions and Congress considering the Equality Act within the first 100 days of the new Administration.

 

Wide range of business and advocacy groups, athletes, oppose anti-trans legislation

Earlier this month, more than 55 major US corporations stood up and spoke out, to oppose anti-transgender legislation being proposed in states across the country. New companies like Facebook, Pfizer, Altria, Peloton, and Dell join companies like Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, AT&T, AirBnB, Google, Hilton, IBM, IKEA, Microsoft, Nike, Paypal, Uber, and Verizon in objecting to these bills.

Nearly 550 college athletes have stood up to anti-transgender legislation by demanding the NCAA pull championships from states with anti-trans sports legislation

The nation’s leading child health and welfare groups representing more than 7 million youth-serving professionals and more than 1000 child welfare organizations released an open letter calling for lawmakers in states across the country to oppose dozens of bills that target LGBTQ people, and transgender children in particular.

A fight driven by national anti-LGBTQ groups, not local legislators or public concern

These bills come from the same forces that drove previous anti-equality fights by pushing copycat bills across state houses — hateful anti-LGBTQ organizations like the Heritage Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom (designated by Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group), and Eagle Forum among others.

For example, Montana’s HB 112, the first anti-transgender sports bill to be passed through a legislative chamber in any state, was written by the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Trans equality is popular: Anti-transgender legislationis a low priority, even among Trump voters

In a 10-swing-state poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group last fall:

At least 60% of Trump voters across each of the 10 swing states say transgender people should be able to live freely and openly.

At least 87% of respondents across each of the 10 swing states say transgender people should have equal access to medical care, with many states breaking 90% support

When respondents were asked about how they prioritized the importance of banning transgender people from participating in sports as compared to other policy issues, the issue came in dead last, with between 1% and 3% prioritizing the issue.

States that pass anti-transgender legislation suffer economic, legal, reputational harm

Analyses conducted in the aftermath of previous divisive anti-transgender bills across the country, like the bathroom bills introduced in Texas and North Carolina and an anti-transgender sports ban in Idaho, show that there would be or has been devastating fallout.

Idaho is the only state to have passed an anti-trans sports ban to date, and that law was swiftly suspended by a federal district court. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) came out against the Idaho bill, and others like it, and subsequently moved planned tournament games out of Idaho.

The Associated Press projected that the North Carolina bathroom bill could have cost the state $3.76 billion over 10 years.

During a fight over an anti-transgender bathroom bill in 2017, the Texas Association of Business estimated $8.5 billion in economic losses, risking 185,000 jobs in the process, due to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and professional sporting event cancellations, a ban on taxpayer funded travel to those states, cancellation of movie productions, and businesses moving projects out of state.

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HRC

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