LITTLE ROCK, AR — On Tuesday, the Arkansas House and Senate overrode Governor Asa Hutchinson’s veto of House Bill 1570, an anti-transgender bill aimed at denying medically-necessary, gender-affirming services to transgender youth. This is the first bill of its kind to become law in the United States. There are so far 192 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of those, 101 directly target transgender people and 30 would, like HB 1570, deny medically-necessary services and gender-affirming care to transgender youth. Such bills have proliferated in the last two years, with 58 such bills being introduced despite no evidence that there has been any issue with youth receiving inappropriate care. In fact, these bills are opposed by organizations dedicated to children’s health, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the National Association of Social Workers, and more. These attacks on transgender youth are fueled by discrimination, not facts.
Wide range of business and advocacy groups, athletes oppose anti-trans legislation
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 — dangerous, 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.
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 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.
Another more recent poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group revealed that, with respect to transgender youth participation in sports, the public’s strong inclination is on the side of fairness and equality for transgender student athletes. 73% of voters agree that “sports are important in young people’s lives. Young transgender people should be allowed opportunities to participate in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.”
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.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organizations working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
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