“Unfortunately, I think we’re getting ready to watch a race to the bottom among legislators who are in a competition to see who can do the most harm to trans kids,” Gillian Branstetter, media manager for women’s advocacy group the National Women’s Law Center, told NBC News. “It is a hostile and dangerous trend that I’m sure we’ll see continue through the year.”
The most recent laws come in Arizona, in which two measures have been proposed.
Senate Bill 1045 would prohibit medical procedures that affirm the gender identity of youths that are transgender. It would also ban health care providers in the state from performing gender-affirming surgeries on minors in addition to per scripting hormones such as testosterone or estrogen to trans youth.
The second measure, Senate Bill 1046, would restrict transgender children from participating in sports at public and private schools, community colleges, and universities. The measure looks to divide sports into teams “based on biological sex.”
Alabama has proposed similar legislation that will be heard for the second time this year.
But the new year isn’t all bad news for the LGBTQ community. American figure skater Timothy LeDuc could make history this week as the first openly nonbinary person to compete in the Winter Olympics. LeDuc, who uses gender-neutral pronouns, and their partner, Ashley Cain-Gribble, will both compete in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships with the hope of securing a spot on Team USA for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing this February.
According to NBC News, LeDuc has already made history once before: They were the first openly gay athlete to win gold in a U.S. pairs event in 2019.
According to supporters of these bills, these laws will prevent youth from making decisions they might later regret. And of course, the biggest excuse they use will protect women and girls in schools.
Republicans have long used the excuse of protecting girls as a reason they should infringe on the rights of trans people.
“It is unfortunate that we see this as removing the rights of any people,” Rep. Rhonda Milstead, who introduced South Dakota’s trans sports ban this week, told NBC News. “If competitive sports are made to be fair, there is a place for everyone to compete according to the biology they were born with.”
To learn more about anti-trans legislation, including what states have proposed which laws, read our in-depth coverage here.