A New Surge of Anti-Trans Legislation

By Kendyl Brower 

In 2022 alone, 238 anti-LGBTQ bills across the country have been passed, 168 measures eroding transgender rights. Most regard trans-affirming health care or participation in high school sports. 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott directed the Department of Family and Protection services to open child abuse investigations into parents who pursue gender-affirming health care for their trans children. In Iowa, HF 2416 was signed into law, barring trans students from partaking in academic sports programs to “protect women’s sports” from “biological males.” Indiana, Kentucky, and Missouri also passed similar bills that prohibit trans athletes, specifically trans women, from participating. Louisiana saw the HB 570 bill which prevents trans minors from receiving transition-related medical care. Furthermore, the bill requires teachers to inform parents if students express their trans identity. In Alabama, Senate passed the “bathroom bill” which requires students to use facilities based on the gender on their birth certificate, essentially barring transgender students from using their bathroom that aligns with their identity. As well, Alabama’s House passed SB 184 which makes it a felony for parents and doctors to provide puberty blockers, hormones, and surgery to minors. 

Legislators justify these bills because they “protect children,” but some representatives, like Alabama State Representative Chris England, have called out the GOP party: “what it is about is scoring political points and using those children as collateral damage” (AP News). The only openly gay member of the Alabama Legislature, Neil Rafferty, notes, “Y’all sit there and campaign on family being the foundation of our nation…but what this bill is doing is totally undermining that. It’s totally undermining family rights, health rights, and access to health care.” Seemingly, the Republican party has leveraged moral campaigns to yield political profit, leaving the LGBTQ community at severe risk.