Senate Republicans Prioritize Demonizing Transgender Youth Over COVID-19 Relief for Desperate American Families

by HRC Staff

Post submitted by Viet Tran (he/him/they/them), former HRC Press Secretary

Today, Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) is likely to offer an amendment during the Senate’s “vote-a-rama” debate on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that would deny federal funds to states that allow transgender girls to participate in girls’ sports from K-12 and college. This amendment undermines NCAA rules and state laws and policies that have been on the books for many years ensuring equal opportunity for transgender and cisgender athletes.

This cynical, political, and shameful ploy will deprive every school in 20 states -- states like Colorado, Florida, New Hampshire, and Nevada -- of the federal funds they need to reopen safely, putting their children at risk and furthering a manufactured culture war driven by misinformation and fear-mongering. For months, Republicans across the country have been advocating for reopening our economy and reopening schools. This amendment is a poison pill that would ultimately deprive federal funding for states across the country. Republicans are targeting transgender children as a part of a manufactured ‘wedge issue’ that comes at the expense of their own ostensible priorities.

Using the critical relief bill for American families to demean and dehumanize LGBTQ people to try to score political points is politics at its most inhumane and destructive. The truth is that transgender people have been participating in sports consistent with their gender identity for decades. This is a manufactured problem and just the next step in the right-wing’s long lost culture war against LGBTQ people and our rights.

We condemn this amendment in the strongest possible terms and urge all Senators who value their constituents and believe schools should have the funding they need to reopen should vote against this amendment.

Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign

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