Bill is one of the first explicitly anti-LGBTQ+ legislation to advance through the North Carolina General Assembly since 2016’s HB2 and 2017’s HB142
Raleigh, North Carolina – 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 Senate Bill 631, which would ban gender-affirming care for people under 18 at public health care facilities and by any health care provider employed or contracting with those facilities. In addition, the bill would block government funds from being used by adults and minors for gender affirming care, this includes health insurance coverage for state employees and their dependents.
In yet another sign of the historic level of anti-LGBTQ+ attacks sweeping state legislatures this year, this is one of two anti-LGBTQ+ bills currently advancing through the North Carolina General Assembly since their deeply discriminatory anti-transgender bathroom legislation in 2016 and 2017.
THE FACTS: 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. “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.
This is why majorities of Americans oppose criminalizing or banning gender affirming care. Two recent national surveys report that majorities of Americans oppose “criminalizing” or “banning” gender transition-related medical care for minors: 54% oppose (NPR/Marist on 3/20-23, 2023); 53% oppose (Grinnell College National Survey on 3/14-19, 2023). Democrats and Independents drive opposition to such legislation, suggesting that support for such bans carries risk in a general election context.
Gender transition is a personal process that can include changing clothes, names, and hairstyles to fit a person’s gender identity. 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. Therapists, parents and health care providers work together to determine which changes to make at a given time that are in the best interest of the child. In most young children, this care can be entirely social. This means:
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.
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.
For more information, please visit hrc.org/transgender as well as these resources:
THE FACTS: 2023 Is the Worst Year On Record for Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation
So far in 2023, HRC is opposing more than 525 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. A total of 78 pieces of legislation have been enacted into law this year. 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:
More than 125 gender-affirming care bans — bills that would prevent transgender youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; this year, 16 have already become law in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma, Florida, and Nebraska
More than 30 anti-transgender bathroom bills filed;
More than 100 anti-LGBTQ+ curriculum censorship bills, and;
45 anti-LGBTQ+ drag performance ban bills.
Americans believe the amount of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is excessive, agreeing it is “political theater.” Likely voters across all political parties look at GOP efforts to flood state legislatures with anti-LGBTQ+ legislation as political theater. Recent polling indicates that 64% of all likely voters, including 72% of Democrats, 65% of Independents, and 55% of Republicans think that there is “too much legislation” aimed at “limiting the rights of transgender and gay people in America” (Data For Progress survey of 1,220 likely voters, 3/24-26, 2023).
By comparison, last year in 2022 politicians in statehouses across the country introduced 315 anti-LGBTQ+ bills, 29 of which were enacted into law. These efforts — the result of a coordinated push led by national anti-LGBTQ+ groups, which deployed vintage discriminatory tropes seeking to slander, malign, and stigmatize LGBTQ+ people — only yielded a less than 10% success rate, as more than 90% of anti-LGBTQ+ bills were defeated. The majority of the discriminatory bills – 149 bills – targeted the transgender and non-binary community, with the majority targeting children. By the end of the 2022 state legislative season, a record 17 bills attacking transgender and non-binary children were enacted into law.
More than 300 major U.S. corporations have stood up and spoken out to oppose anti-LGBTQ+ legislation being proposed in states across the country. Major employers in tech, manufacturing, hospitality, health care, retail, and other sectors are joining with a unified voice to say discrimination is bad for business and to call on lawmakers to abandon these efforts. Four of the largest U.S. food companies also condemned “dangerous, discriminatory legislation that serves as an attack on LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly transgender and nonbinary people,” and the Walton Family Foundation issued a statement expressing “alarm” at the trend of anti-transgender legislation that recently became law in Arkansas.
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