Human Rights Campaign Condemns Indiana Senate for Passing Two Anti-LGBTQ Bills; Urges Indiana House to Reject Bills

by HRC Staff

SB 480 would prohibit transgender youth from accessing age-appropriate, best practice care, and SB 350 would prohibit cities from prohibiting the fraudulent, abusive practice of so-called “conversion therapy”

Indianapolis, Indiana – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization – condemned the Indiana Senate for passing two anti-LGBTQ+ bills. Senate Bill 480 is an anti-LGBTQ+ bill that would ban age appropriate, medically necessary gender affirming care for transgender youth. Senate Bill 350 would prohibit local governments from stopping the dangerous, abusive practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” HRC urges the Indiana House of Representatives to reject both bills.

Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley released the following statement:

“These bills are yet another example of extremist politicians using their power to marginalize LGBTQ+ people, especially transgender youth. Both of these bills willfully ignore the expertise of the American medical establishment, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the science: LGBTQ+ youth deserve medically-necessary, best practice medical care that will allow them to thrive. Conversion therapy is an abusive, discredited practice that is shunned by medical experts; gender-affirming care, on the contrary, is supported by the science and is best practice care. The Indiana Senate has decided to defy the actual medical experts and instead imperil the well-being of LGBTQ+ youth. Shame on them. We call on the Indiana House to take a different, more responsible course.”

“Conversion therapy” is a range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Such practices have been rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health organization for decades.


Every major medical organization – representing over 1.3 million doctors in the United States – calls for age-appropriate gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary people.

  • “Transition-related” or “gender-affirming” care looks different for every transgender and non-binary person.

  • Parents, their kids, and doctors make decisions together, and no medical interventions with permanent consequences happen until a transgender person is old enough to give truly informed consent.

Transgender children are not undergoing irreversible medical changes.

  • This is a fundamental misunderstanding about what transition looks like for kids.

  • Therapists, parents and health care providers work together to determine which changes to make at a given time are in the best interest of the child.

  • Some people take medication, and some do not; some adults have surgeries, and others do not. How someone transitions is their choice, to be made with their family and their doctor.

  • Puberty blockers are fully reversible.
  • In most young children, this care can be entirely social. This means:
    • New name

    • New hairstyle

    • New clothing

    • None of this care is irreversible.

Being transgender is not new.

  • Some say it can feel like being transgender is very new – but that’s because the media has been covering it more in recent months and years.

  • But transgender people have always existed and will continue to exist regardless of the bills we pass.

  • And very few transgender people change their mind.
    • One recent study, published in the academic journal Pediatrics, found that over 92% of socially transitioned transgender youth remained consistent and persistent in their gender identity 5 years later. Other studies have found that less than 2% of adolescents stopped gender affirming treatment after initiating.

ALL gender-affirming care is:

  • Age-appropriate

  • Medically necessary

  • Supported by all major medical organizations

  • Made in consultation with medical and mental health professionals AND parents

And in many cases, this care is lifesaving:

  • A recent study from the Trevor Project provides data supporting this — transgender youth with access to gender-affirming hormone therapy have lower rates of depression and are at a lower risk for suicide.

  • Other recent studies have found that receipt of puberty blockers can dramatically reduce risk of suicidality–in some cases by over 70%--among transgender youth, compared to those who were unable to access desired treatment.

Two months into 2023, HRC is already tracking 380 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. 150 of those would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date.

So far this year, HRC is tracking:

  • 90 bills that would prevent trans youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; two have already become law, in Utah and South Dakota,

  • More bathroom ban bills filed than in any previous year,

  • And 28 anti-LGBTQ+ bills which have passed at least one chamber, 10 of which are specifically anti-trans.

In a coordinated push led by national anti-LGBTQ+ groups, which deployed vintage discriminatory tropes, politicians in statehouses across the country introduced 315 discriminatory anti-LGBTQ+ bills in 2022 and 29 passed into law. Despite this, fewer than 10% of these efforts succeeded. The majority of the discriminatory bills – 149 bills – targeted the transgender and non-binary community, with the majority targeting children receiving the brunt of discriminatory legislation. By the end of the 2022 legislative session, a record 17 bills attacking transgender and non-binary children passed into law.

Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation took several forms, including:

  • 80 bills aimed to prevent transgender youth from playing school sports consistent with their gender identity. 19 states now exclude transgender athletes in school sports.

  • 42 bills to prevent transgender and non-binary youth from receiving life-saving, medically-necessary gender-affirming healthcare. 5 states now restrict access to gender-affirming care.

  • 70 curriculum censorship bills tried to turn back the clock and restrict teachers from discussing LGBTQ+ issues and other marginalized communities in their classrooms. 7 passed into law.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization 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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