Texas leads in proposed anti-trans legislation
Texas has more anti-transgender legislation filed this session than any other state, with 57 bills.
Driving the news: The flood of state-level efforts to restrict transgender rights is being fueled by many of the Christian and conservative groups that led the charge against Roe v. Wade.
- Groups including the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Family Research Council, the Liberty Counsel and the American Principles Project are behind a multimillion-dollar effort targeting LGBTQ rights through "parents' rights" bills, per Axios' Russell Contreras.
How it works: The groups have provided templates and support for similarly worded bills that seek to ban minors from attending drag shows, prevent trans minors from receiving gender-affirming care, and restrict their participation in high school sports.
- And, these groups have raised millions in recent years to fuel their lobbying on abortion and transgender issues. The Alliance Defending Freedom, for example, reported more than $78 million in revenue in 2021, mainly from grants and donations.
- The Family Research Council also gets most of its money through grants and donations. It changed its IRS status to an "association of churches" in 2020 and is no longer required to file a public tax return, ProPublica reports.
The latest: Two anti-trans rights bills passed the Texas Senate last week. One would require college athletes to compete on a team that aligns with sex assigned at birth, regardless of gender identity.
- The other bill would require a person's sex at birth to be included on birth certificates and limits the option for minors to update their documents to match their gender identity.
Zoom in: More than two dozen anti-trans bills were filed by North Texas representatives.
- Some of the bills would update the definition of child abuse to include giving children gender-affirming drugs. Others seek to expand the definition of a sexually oriented business to include establishments that present drag shows.
State of play: The legislative proposals come at a time when roughly 8 in 10 Americans believe there's some discrimination against transgender people, a 2022 Pew Research Center survey found.
- The survey also found that most Americans favor laws to protect trans people from discrimination.
- But, about six in 10 Americans favor requiring transgender athletes to compete on teams that match their sex at birth.
By the numbers: The ACLU is tracking more than 430 bills targeting LGBTQ rights concerning schools, health care and free speech.
- Trans Legislation Tracker, a data collection website that uses information from different civil rights groups, says it has followed 492 anti-transgender bills in 47 states as of April 2. That's a 2,489% increase since 2015.
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