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Biden blasts GOP's 'hateful and extremist state laws' on Transgender Day of Visibility

Republicans are pushing laws nationwide to restrict transgender rights.

By Oliver Willis - March 31, 2023
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A young child holds a pair of trans pride flags at a noon gathering on the steps of the Mississippi Capitol in Jackson, as they protest House Bill 1125, which bans gender-affirming care for trans children, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023.
A young child holds a pair of trans pride flags at a noon gathering on the steps of the Mississippi Capitol in Jackson, as they protest House Bill 1125, which bans gender-affirming care for trans children, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

President Joe Biden on Friday criticized “MAGA extremists” for “advancing hundreds of hateful and extreme state laws that target transgender kids and their families” in a statement commemorating Transgender Day of Visibility.

“These attacks are un-American and must end. The bullying, discrimination, and political attacks that trans kids face have exacerbated our national mental health crisis,” Biden said. “My Administration will never quit fighting to end discrimination, to stand against these unjust state laws, and to guarantee everyone the fundamental right and freedom to be who they are. ”

International Transgender Day of Visibility, observed on March 31 since 2009, celebrates transgender and gender-nonconforming people and brings awareness to the discrimination and violence they face.

This year, TDOV comes amidst a multiyear effort by Republican state legislators to restrict transgender rights across the country. According to the Trans Legislation tracker, more than 400 bills have been introduced in 47 different states, with 25 passed so far.

These include an Arkansas law making it easier to sue doctors for providing gender-affirming care, a ban on gender-affirming care in Georgia, a law in Idaho that restricts transgender access to school bathrooms, and a law passed in Kentucky — over a gubernatorial veto — that bans educators from discussing issues of sexual orientation, restricts bathroom access, and bans gender-affirming care, among other provisions.

The legislation has been shepherded by a coalition of groups on the religious right, even as a 2022 survey from the Trevor Project showed 86% of trans or nonbinary youths reporting a negative impact on their mental health stemming from the debate over transgender rights.

Republicans are also pursuing an anti-trans agenda at the federal level.

There are at least eight Republican proposals in the current legislative session of the House that seek to restrict transgender rights. These include bills that would effectively ban transgender military service, prohibit federal agencies from using preferred pronouns in communications materials, and increase taxes for companies that reimburse the costs of gender-affirming care.

The Biden administration has enacted policies that support transgender rights and protections.

In 2021, his first year in office, Biden issued an executive order reversing former President Donald Trump’s ban on military service by transgender people. The Department of Education announced that it would take action against schools that discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The State Department, beginning in April 2022, now allows an “X” gender marker to be used on U.S. passports, and the Department of Homeland Security implemented changes in travel screening procedures and processes designed to “advance equality for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming Americans.”

In his statement on Friday, Biden concluded, “I want every member of the trans community to know that we see you. You’re each made in the image of God, and deserve love, dignity, and respect. You make America stronger, and we’re with you.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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