by Laurel Powell •
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — condemned the North Carolina House for passing H808, which bans gender-affirming care for people under 18. Medical providers who provide age appropriate, best practice gender-affirming care in violation of this bill would face criminal prosecution and imprisonment of up to 10 years, imposition of up to a $100,000 fine, and loss of their medical license. Charges could be brought until a patient is forty-five years old. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
In yet another sign of the historic level of anti-LGBTQ+ attacks sweeping state legislatures this year, H808 is just the third anti-LGBTQ+ bill to advance through the North Carolina legislature since their deeply discriminatory anti-transgender bathroom legislation in 2016 and 2017. Last week, House Bill 5741 and Senate Bill 631, which would ban transgender students from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity, advanced through the General Assembly and were sent to Governor Cooper for his consideration.
Gender-affirming care is age-appropriate care that is medically necessary for the well-being of many transgender and non-binary people who experience symptoms of gender dysphoria, or distress that results from having one’s gender identity not match their sex assigned at birth. Gender-affirming care is the integration of medical, mental health, and social services. For transgender children, transition is an entirely social process which may include a new name or pronouns, wearing different clothes or styling one’s hair differently. At puberty, doctors may一in consultation with and having the informed consent of the transgender youth and their parents一prescribe reversible medication known as puberty-blockers, which allow a young person to safely reach an age in which they’re truly able to consent to further treatment.
This law is one of many efforts political extremists and national anti-LGBTQ+ organizations have launched in Oklahoma and across the country against transgender youth and their families. Every credible 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. Unfortunately, bolstered by disinformation spread by social media and designed to take aim at care for transgender youth, these bans directly place the health, safety and wellbeing of transgender youth in Oklahoma at risk.
The Facts About Gender Affirming Care
Every credible 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.
Transgender children are not undergoing irreversible medical changes.
Being transgender is not new.
ALL gender-affirming care is:
And in many cases, this care is lifesaving:
For more information, please visit https://www.hrc.org/resources/get-the-facts-on-gender-affirming-care
State Legislative Snapshot
So far in 2023, HRC is opposing more than 540 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. More than 220 of those bills would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date.
This year, HRC is tracking:
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.
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