Today, major child welfare organizations 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. In too many states, like Idaho, lawmakers are focusing on passing bills that attack our nation’s most vulnerable, instead of focusing on how to help the American people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The signers note: “As organizations committed to serving the best interests of all children, we are deeply alarmed at the torrent of bills introduced in state legislatures around the country this year that would directly harm transgender people, and particularly transgender children. These appalling proposals would compromise the safety and well-being of the young people we all have the duty and obligation to support and protect. All of our nation’s children deserve equal protection and treatment when accessing health care, and when attending school. These anti-transgender bills promote discrimination and do harm to students, their families, and their communities.”
“Harmful legislation, such as the torrent of anti-LGBTQ bills introduced across the country, deeply affect youth-serving professionals’ ability to do their job — caring for America’s young people. The vast majority of youth-serving professionals know when transgender and non-binary youth have access to gender-affirming services, competent care and affirmation, their risk of depression, anxiety and other negative mental health outcomes is greatly reduced,” said HRC President Alphonso David. The letter released today underscores the widespread professional and public opposition to anti-LGBTQ legislation and clearly warns states that LGBTQ discrimination will harm states’ education, health care and child welfare. I applaud the signatories of this letter for their dedication to empowering LGBTQ people across the country.”
This letter is released as the Idaho Legislature passed HB 500, a discriminatory anti-transgender bill that would bar transgender women and girls from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity. Additionally, the legislature has passed HB 509, which forbids transgender Idahoans from changing their gender marker on birth certificates to match their gender identity. These bills are heading to Governor Brad Little for his signature. HRC stands in opposition to this legislation and is asking Gov. Little to veto them.
The organizations currently signed on to the open letter include the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; American Counseling Association; Association of Title IX Administrators; Child Welfare League of America; National Association of School Psychologists; National Association of Secondary School Principals; National Education Association; National PTA; Physician Assistants LGBT Caucus; and Society of Pediatric Nurses.