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Arkansas Republicans Override Governor’s Veto of Bill Banning Medical Treatment for Transgender Youth

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Republicans in the Arkansas legislature wasted no time on Tuesday, overriding Governor Asa Hutchinson’s veto of a bill that will now ban medical treatment for transgender youth and teens. On Monday, after signing two anti-LGBTQ bills into law in recent weeks, the Arkansas Republican governor vetoed HB 1570, calling it “off-course,” and not “necessary and defensible.”

Less than 24 hours later Republicans overrode the veto, the AP reports. A simple majority is all that was required.

The ACLU, which has called the bill “one of the most extreme and harmful anti-trans bills in the country,”  immediately promised to sue.

HB 1570, the mis-named “Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act,” according to ACLU analysis, “would prohibit healthcare professionals from providing or even referring transgender young people for medically necessary health care.”

“It would bar any state funds for gender-affirming health care for transgender people under 18, and it would allow private insurers to refuse to cover gender-affirming care for people of any age.”

“Doctors who provide medically necessary care to trans youth would risk losing their licenses and be subject to lawsuits by individuals and the state,” the ACLU has said.

The House bill was sponsored by Republican Rep. Robin Lundstrum, the Senate bill was sponsored by Republican Senator Alan Clark (photo).

 

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BIGOTRY

Florida One Step Closer to Banning Trans Girls From Sports With Bill Providing for ‘Reproductive Anatomy’ Examination

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Florida House Republicans have passed legislation that bans transgender girls from participating in girl’s sports, and allows anyone to dispute a student’s gender, which would legally result in an examination of “student’s reproductive anatomy.”

HB 1475, the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” passed along party lines in a 70-44 vote, Law & Crime reports.

“Athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls may not be open to students of the male sex,” the legislation reads. The intent is to ban transgender girls or women on the “basis of students’ biological sex.”

The bill also says that if there is any “dispute” about a student athletes’ “biological sex,” it “shall be resolved by the student’s school or institution by requesting that the student provide a health examination and consent form or other statement signed by the student’s personal health care provider which must verify the student’s biological sex.”

“The health care provider may verify the student’s biological sex as part of a routine sports physical examination by relying only on one or more of the following: The student’s reproductive anatomy; The student’s genetic makeup; or The student’s normal endogenously produced testosterone levels.”

The legislation does not define “dispute,” who gets to file a dispute, or by what method a dispute should be filed or with what entity, or who has to pay for the exam. It leaves all that up to the State Board of Education.

In theory, a student who didn’t make the team and were to blame anyone who did could file a dispute and force that student athlete to have a genital examination.

House Republicans killed 18 proposed amendments, including one that would have removed the section providing for examination of a student’s reproductive anatomy.

The legislation, sponsored by Republican Rep.. Kaylee Tuck (photo) must now go to the Senate, which also has a 24-16 GOP majority. If it passes, 2024 Republican presidential hopeful, Governor Ron DeSantis, would have to sign it into law.

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AZ Lawmakers Ban Teaching About ‘Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, or Gender Expression’ Without Parental Consent

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Lawmakers in the Arizona House and Senate have passed legislation that bans teaching students anything about “sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression” without first getting signed permission from a parent.

That means teaching about, for example, artist and Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci, astronaut Sally Ride, the founder of computer science, Alan Turing, or the late First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt – all of whom were LGBTQ – requires signed consent from a student’s parent.

In addition, sex education, should Republican Governor Doug Ducey sign SB 1456 into law, will also be banned until students reach fifth grade. After that, any teaching about “sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression,” requires “written consent from a student’s parent or guardian.”

The bill is so poorly written that a plain reading of it means that any teaching or discussion of sexual orientation requires advanced consent from the parent. Sexual orientation includes heterosexuality, which means that any teaching about, for example, heterosexual marriages.

The bill updates current law to read: “A public educational institution shall obtain signed, written consent from a student’s parent or guardian before…PROVIDING SEX EDUCATION INSTRUCTION OR INSTRUCTION REGARDING SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, OR GENDER EXPRESSION TO THE STUDENT. WHEN THE PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION SEEKS CONSENT, IT SHALL AT THE SAME TIME INFORM THE STUDENT’S PARENT OR GUARDIAN OF THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN’S RIGHT TO REVIEW THE INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS AND ACTIVITIES.”

Also requiring written consent: any teaching about HIV/AIDS.

The ACLU says the legislation stigmatizes LGBTQ students:

The bill may be unconstitutional, and likely violates Biden administration policy, meaning the Dept. of Education could sue the state and withhold education funding.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

Image: Eleanor Roosevelt holding poster of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (in English), Lake Success, New York. November 1949. Photo by FDR Presidential Library & Museum via Flickr and a CC license

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BIGOTRY

7 Out of 10 Americans Support the LGBTQ Equality Act. Joe Manchin Wants to Kill It.

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It was December 9, 2010. Joe Manchin, the former Democratic Governor of West Virginia, cast his first vote as a newly-sworn-in U.S. Senator. He voted against moving forward with repealing the discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

He was the only Democrat to do so.

His reason for opposing the repeal of DADT?

“As a Senator of just three weeks, I have not had the opportunity to visit and hear the full range of viewpoints from the citizens of West Virginia.”

He didn’t even bother to vote on the final bill.

That’s the same Joe Manchin who in 1982 had begun his political career as a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates.

After nearly three decades of serving as a lawmaker, Secretary of State, and a governor, Senator Manchin felt he wasn’t sufficiently well-enough informed to do the right thing and vote to protect America’s LGBTQ service men and women.

Fast forward to today, when Joe Manchin has now been in public service for almost 40 years.

On the campaign trail Joe Biden indicated his top priority was passing the LGBTQ Equality Act, legislation that has been introduced into Congress in various forms since the 1970’s, even longer than the 73-year old Senator from West Virginia has been in politics. Biden said he wanted to sign the Equality Act into law in his first 100 days.

There are three things getting in the way of legislation that seven out of 10 Americans not only support, but think is already federal law: the filibuster, Republicans, and Joe Manchin. Ironically, Manchin, like Republicans, opposes killing the filibuster and opposes passing the Equality Act.

“A little more than two months into Biden’s term,” The Daily Beast reports, “Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has taken on the role of perpetual fly in the ointment of progressive legislation. The Equality Act is no exception.”

Make no mistake, Manchin is anti-LGBTQ. He opposes same-sex marriage (although agrees it is settled law) and echoing the massive conservative campaign against transgender people, opposes the Equality Act (in part) because, he claims, it does not provide “sufficient guidance to the local officials who will be responsible for implementing it, particularly with respect to students transitioning between genders in public schools.”

That is not the function of legislation, that is the function of the Dept. of Education, something Manchin certainly must know.

“In private, according to those familiar, Manchin has been equally skeptical this time around, citing a massive call-in campaign organized by conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation intended to sink the bill. Manchin told one co-sponsor of the Equality Act that the calls to his office were opposed to the legislation ‘a thousand to one.'”

The Beast calls getting 60 votes to pass the Equality Act without one of them being Manchin’s  “functionally impossible, given the Senate’s current makeup.”

 

This article has been updated to more accurately reflect what Manchin’s “nay” vote was on.

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