Story at a glance

  • More than a dozen states are enacting legislation to restrict the rights of transgender Americans, especially minors.
  • Mississippi became the first state to pass such legislation this year with a ban on transgender athletes participating in school sports.
  • Now two more states have passed bans restricting transgender rights for minors.

Across the United States, LGBTQ advocates are fighting a slew of legislation restricting the rights of transgender minors in sports and health care, including more than a dozen bills banning transgender kids from participating in school sports. Now, two more states have taken action to restrict the rights of transgender youth. 

Earlier this month, Mississippi became the first state to pass such legislation this year, banning transgender athletes from competing on girls or women’s sports teams. The Biden administration passed an executive order “combating discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation,” including in federally funded schools, leading to a legal challenge against the state under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act.    


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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) responded with an executive order of her own, or rather two, one banning transgender girls from K-12 athletics and another from college athletics. The governor vetoed and sent back a proposed bill with revisions and announced that she would work with lawmakers to schedule a special session. 


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Meanwhile, other states are restricting the rights of transgender youth to access and receive gender-affirming health care, which studies have linked to risk of suicide. Arkansas is the first state to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth and the American Civil Liberties Union has already threatened to challenge the law in court.

"Denying trans people health care because of who they are is wrong and illegal, and we’ll be ready to take this fight to court if this bill becomes law," said the ACLU of Arkansas on Twitter


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Published on Mar 30, 2021