On Tuesday, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), introduced the "Transgender Bill of Rights" to Congress, which seeks to make health care regarding gender transitioning easier to access, allow people to play on sports that align with their gender identity rather than biology, as well as codify Roe v Wade.
The bill cites the 2020 Supreme Court decision of Bostock v Clayton County, which includes sexual orientation and gender identity under protections from discrimination, with a press release from Jayapal noting that the bill comes both after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, and also on the 53rd anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City.
"Despite these protections, transgender people still experience discrimination in medical care, employment, housing, education, lending, and other basic necessities," the bill states.
The bill also takes note of other legislation passed across the country, which seeks to protect young children from receiving irreversible side effects from hormone usage and surgeries that seek to change their bodies to match their gender identity.
The bill seeks to protect the rights of transgender and nonbinary people by "ensuring transgender and nonbinary people have equal access to services and public accommodations that align with their gender identity" through amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964"to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, including gender identity and sex characteristics in public accommodations and federally funded programs and activities."
It also seeks to protect this group of people by "expanding the definition of public accommodation to address the full range of places and services that members of the general public utilize," and by "explicitly clarifying that it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of sex, including gender identity or sex characteristics in public accommodations and services on religious grounds."
The bill would seek to amend federal education laws, which would ensure protections from discrimination based on gender identity and "sex characteristics," which would guarantee a student’s right to "participate in sports on teams that best align with their gender identity" and "use school facilities that best align with their gender identity."
The Transgender Bill of Rights also seeks to "recognize the right to bodily autonomy and ethical health care for transgender and nonbinary people" by seeking to "strengthen… prohibitions on discrimination" in healthcare, "eliminating unnecessary governmental restrictions on the provision of, and access to, gender-affirming medical care and counseling."
In addition, the bill seeks to codify Roe v. Wade, not just for transgender or nonbinary people, but for all Americans.
"As we witness Republicans and an extremist Supreme Court attack and roll back the fundamental rights of trans people across our country, and as state legislatures across the country target our trans community with hateful, bigoted, and transphobic attacks, we are standing up and saying enough is enough," said Jayapal, Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Co-Chair of the Transgender Equality Task Force.
The bill has 85 cosponsors, all of which are Democrats, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Cori Bush (MO), Jerrold Nadler (NY), Ilhan Omar (MN), and Rashida Tlaib (MI).
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