The Biden administration is reportedly gearing up to take action against anti-transgender legislation, although how exactly it plans to do so remains to be seen.
Speaking to The Daily Beast, Alphonso David of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) said the organization is “having conversations” with the White House about fighting back against anti-trans bills across the United States. David didn’t elaborate on what this would look like, although he did say he believes the administration “will be” taking direct, public action against these legislative attacks.
Since January 1, 2021, Republican lawmakers in more than 30 states nationwide have introduced a record-high number of anti-transgender bills. A significant portion of these legislative attacks take aim at trans kids’ access to gender-affirming health care or school sports. Some bills, including a particularly egregious anti-trans health care ban in Arkansas, have already been enacted into law.
Across the board, 2021 is already set to outpace 2015 as the worst year for anti-LGBTQ legislation in the U.S. in recent memory.
HRC’s announcement comes on the heels of President Joe Biden’s shout-out to transgender youth during his first address to a joint session of Congress last month. “To all transgender Americans watching at home — especially young people who are so brave — I want you to know your President has your back,” he said, also urging legislators to pass the Equality Act, which is still in motion.
I guess I appreciate the platitudes. But we need action. Things are desperate.
— Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio) April 29, 2021
The pro-LGBTQ platitude was welcome, although as many transgender advocates have pointed out, swift, decisive action is what the trans community really needs right now. As reports from outlets like Them, NBC News, and the Associated Press have highlighted, trans youth and their loved ones are absolutely terrified. In some cases, parents of trans kids in hostile states are fleeing their homes.
In a separate statement to The Daily Beast, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice said it will “fully enforce our civil rights statutes to protect transgender individuals.” Here’s hoping that means challenging these discriminatory legislative attacks, including bills that have already become law.