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This week saw multiple states limit transgender rights

Five states saw bills this week that put limits on transgender rights, from health care to sports they can play.
Posted at 8:38 PM, Apr 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-07 20:38:59-04

On Friday, Kansas became the latest state to pass legislation to end gender-affirming care for minors, with doctors facing suspension of their medical licenses if they provide it.

The state's Democratic governor is expected to veto the bill.

Republicans said the bill protects children, though the American Academy of Pediatrics says such care helps healthy development of kids and warns that efforts to thwart doctors is dangerous.

The Human Rights Campaign defines gender-affirming care as anything from counseling to medical procedures.

This week, Indiana, Idaho, North Dakota and Florida all saw bills passed or advanced on issues ranging from establishing limits on sports participation for transgender youth to targeting insurance coverage for gender-affirming care for adults. 

"This has been one of the worst weeks of 2023 so far in terms of anti-LGBTQ bills becoming law in states across America," said Karine Jean-Pierre, White House spokeswoman.

This week also saw a controversial proposal from the Biden administration that provides guidance on how and when schools can limit trans athletes' participation. 

"With the enactment of a new law in Indiana, 14 states have now banned gender-affirming health care, while some of these laws are currently blocked by courts," Jean-Pierre said. "This is a dangerous, a dangerous attack on the rights of parents to make the best healthcare decisions for their own kids."

The Supreme Court building is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

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In Kentucky, Republican lawmakers overrode Democratic Gov. Andy Bashear's veto of a bill that bans access to gender-affirming health care and restricts school bathroom use for trans minors.

One of the Kentucky sponsors of the bill, Rep. Shane Baker, appeared on a webcast sponsored by the Family Research Council, a religious organization that believes "God created us as male and female and we have no right to re-create ourselves otherwise." 

"As I see it, it's basically standing up and resisting this agenda that's being pushed on our children," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. "No one's attacking them. It's just saying we're not going to allow this to happen on our children."

"Absolutely. This does not prevent people from doing what they want to do behind closed doors by themselves," Baker responded. "But it does say you cannot try to indoctrinate our kids, you cannot try to transition our children through therapy ... whether it's hormone blockers, gender transition, and it's not something that stops them from doing what they want to do."

The ACLU says it's tracking more than 400 bills that affect LGBTQ rights.

In Palm Beach County, Florida, 16-year-old Jasper Gamer, who uses they and them pronouns, says identity is not a choice. 

"I've kind of always felt like I was not my birth gender," Garner said. "I always knew that I wasn't a girl." 

Gamer says transgender legislation feels like an attack on people like them.

"We're already struggling to feel accepted and respected for who we are," they said. "All those comments are only coming from straight, cis people or people that don't know what it's like to be trans."