More than 80 House Democrats have thrown their support behind a “Trans Bill of Rights” resolution, calling for the adoption of sweeping federal anti-discrimination policies that include access to scholastic sports teams based on gender identity.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Washington Democrat, said that a “comprehensive framework” for transgender and nonbinary rights was needed after the Supreme Court’s decision last week overturning Roe v. Wade and the introduction of more than 300 “anti-LGBTQ+ bills” in the states.
“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,’” Ms. Jayapal, the resolution’s sponsor, said in a statement.
H. Res. 1209, which has 85 Democratic cosponsors and no Republican cosponsors, calls for adding “gender identity and sex characteristics” to federal anti-discrimination law, as well as “guaranteeing the right to abortion” by codifying Roe v. Wade.
Under the resolution, transgender students would be able to use facilities and join sports teams “that align with their gender identity.” The measure would also eliminate “unnecessary governmental restrictions on the provision of, and access to, gender-affirming medical care and counseling.”
Such proposals run counter to recently passed state laws banning minors from undergoing gender-transition procedures and prohibiting biological males from participating in female scholastic sports.
“Our transgender and nonbinary siblings are hurting,” said Rep. David N. Cicilline, Rhode Island Democrat and chairman of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus. “Across the country, radical right-wing Republicans have introduced hundreds of bills attacking the LGBTQ+ community — particularly transgender and nonbinary youth — to score political points.”
In addition, the attorney general would be required to designate a liaison within the Justice Department “dedicated to advising and overseeing enforcement of the civil rights of transgender and nonbinary people.”
The resolution stunned conservatives, who blasted the left-wing proposal as out of touch with the views of most Americans and a recipe for disaster in the November election.
“It’s official: the Democratic Party has gone completely insane,” American Principles Project President Terry Schilling said. “How else does one explain their doubling down on this radical transgender agenda, on the same day a wide-ranging poll is released showing its deep unpopularity with voters? Do they want to get wiped out in this November’s midterms?”
He cited a Pew Research Center poll that found 64% of U.S. adults support protecting transgender people from discrimination, but that 58% want athletes to play on teams based on their biological sex, and 46% favor laws making it illegal for doctors to enable gender transitions for minors.
The Media Research Center’s NewsBusters ran a post headlined: “That’ll Help in November: House Progs Introduce ‘Trans Bill of Rights.’”
“At long last, somebody’s come up with a plan to save the Democrats from November electoral annihilation,” the Wednesday post said. “The hell with inflation, gas prices and education. This is the ultimate supper table issue – if your supper table is in Cambridge or Berkeley or Manhattan.”
Last year, the House passed the Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to federal anti-discrimination law, but the bill has gone nowhere in the Senate.