Biden Admin’s Dept. of Justice Moves To Protect Transgender Young People Against Anti-Transgender State Legislation That Discriminates in West Virginia & Arkansas

by Wyatt Ronan

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice filed two statements of interest in litigation challenging state laws that violate the legal rights of transgender young people. In one statement, the Department of Justice asserts that Title IX’s prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment protects transgender students’ participation in school athletics, and that West Virginia’s law prohibiting transgender women and girls from playing on teams consistent with their gender identity (WV HB 3293), enacted in April of 2021, violates federal law. The other statement of interest asserts that the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment protects transgender young people from discrimination in access to medical care, and that the Arkansas’ law (AR HB 1570) that prohibits medical providers from providing transgender youth with certain medically necessary care, enacted by the legislature in April of 2021, violates the Constitution. Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David issued the following statement in response to the action taken today by the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice:

Today, the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice took an important step to protect transgender young people from egregious laws passed by state legislatures to discriminate against transgender youth. With these actions, this Justice Department is making clear that these laws are harmful and illegal and cannot be tolerated. Time after time this legislative session, state lawmakers have passed discriminatory laws that strip transgender young people of fundamental rights, dignity, and the opportunity to thrive. They have done so despite failing to cite any evidence that their legislation is solving an existing problem. That’s because it is simply motivated by bias and has no basis in fact.

Instead, this record-setting legislative push is being advanced by anti-equality extremists and legislators looking to score political talking points on the backs of transgender young people. The Human Rights Campaign has been pushing back across the country and we have recently announced our intention to sue the state of Florida to combat a discriminatory anti-transgender sports ban bill recently signed into law by Governor DeSantis. We are pleased that the Biden Administration’s Justice Department is joining this fight to protect transgender young people and create consequences for states that attempt to write discrimination into law.

Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President

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