The legislative fight to pass discriminatory anti-transgender legislation is ramping up in state houses across the country, with a significant number of bills expected to have hearings or votes this week.
Opponents of equality failed to claw back marriage equality and failed in their push for bathroom bills. This legislation is simply the latest iteration of their failing fight.
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 sow fear and hate. 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.
Here are the states that are hearing anti-transgender legislation this week:
HB 1 — anti-transgender medical ban bill (House Judiciary Committee) — Wednesday, Feb. 10th, 1:30 pm ET
SB 10 — anti-transgender medical ban bill (Senate Healthcare Committee) — Wednesday, Feb. 10th, 1:30 pm ET
HB 2725 — anti-transgender birth certificate bill (House Committee on Government & Elections) — Wednesday, Feb. 10th, 9:00 am MST
HB 276 — anti-transgender sports ban bill (House Education Academic Support Subcommittee) — Tuesday, Feb. 9th, 1:30 pm ET
SF 224 — anti-transgender bathroom bill (Senate Education Subcommittee) — Wednesday, Feb. 10th, 1:00 pm ET
SB 2536 — anti-transgender sports ban bill — already passed through two committees and faces Tuesday, Feb. 11th deadline for Senate floor action
SB 124 — religious refusal bill — (Senate State Affairs Committee) — Wednesday, February 10th, 10:00 am CT
HB 0003 —anti-transgender sports bill — (House K-12 Subcommittee) — Tuesday, February 9th, 4:30 pm CT
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 rather than this legislation being born locally.
- 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 legislation is a low priority, even among Trump voters
In a 10-swing-state poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group:
- 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 transgender people participating in sports as compared to other policy issues, the issue came in dead last, with between 1% and 3% prioritizing the issue, well within the margin of error. .
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 the anti-transgender law in Idaho, show that there would be or has been devastating fallout.
- Idaho, the only state to have passed an anti-trans sports ban to date, which swiftly had the law suspended by a district court who found the plaintiff’s argument that the law was specious and discriminatory to be likely to prevail. The NCAA came out against the Idaho bill this legislation is modeled on.
- 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.