Human Rights Campaign condemns attack by extremist politicians on LGBTQ+ children
Helena, Montana — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — is speaking out against today’s vote in the Montana Senate to approve SB99, a wide-ranging bill that would make it effectively impossible for health care practitioners to provide age-appropriate, best practice, gender affirming care. It would also forbid state employees who work with minors from “promoting” treatment for gender dysphoria, chilling the ability of educators, public health workers, child care workers, and employees of state medical facilities to be able to do their job.
Human Rights State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley issued the following statement today:
“Denying transgender and non-binary youth – an extremely vulnerable group already – access to medically-necessary, age-appropriate, and scientifically supported medical care is dangerous, spiteful, and flies in the face of the recommendations of every major medical group in this country. Parents, doctors, and transgender youth together discuss possible care and make the deeply individualized decision about what kind of care is most appropriate for each young person. Politicians with no medical training and no real understanding of the harmful impact these bans have on transgender people should have no say in how best practice, age appropriate care is delivered. The facts matter, and so do these young folks.
This bill would also impact educators, child care workers serving foster and adoptive youth, public health officials, and other state employees who will be forbidden from discussing gender dysphoria or its treatment with the youth they work with. We will continue to fight so that the health of transgender youth isn’t imperiled simply because they are transgender.”
This law is one of many dangerous efforts far right political extremists and national anti-LGBTQ+ organizations are launching in Montana and across the country against transgender youth and their families. Bolstered by disinformation spread by social media and designed to take aim at age appropriate, life-saving, medically necessary care for transgender youth, these bans directly place the health, safety and wellbeing of transgender youth in Montana at risk. That’s why organizations including the Montana Medical Association and the state chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to the Montana Primary Care Association spoke out in opposition to SB 99 last month during a hearing before the Montana Senate Judiciary Committee.
A record number of 315 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were filed in statehouses across the United States last year, largely focused on denying transgender youth the ability to receive gender-affirming care and participate in school athletics programs, with even more expected to be filed in 2023. Arkansas and Alabama have passed such laws and both are currently stayed pending the conclusion of litigation challenging them; an executive action in Texas is similarly stayed. Utah was the first state in 2023 to pass a law preventing gender-affirming, with Mississippi poised to become the second this year and fourth law overall. These bills are extreme, rooted in misinformation and lies about gender-affirming care, and are contrary to medical best practices.
THE FACTS ABOUT GENDER AFFIRMING CARE
“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.
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.
None of this care is irreversible.
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.
Supported by all major medical organizations
Made in consultation with medical and mental health professionals AND parents
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 https://www.hrc.org/resources/get-the-facts-on-gender-affirming-care
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.
To make a general inquiry, please visit our contact page. Members of the media can reach our press office at: (202) 572-8968 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.