Filing Status: Republicans, having finally abandoned their crusade against same-sex marriage, have found a new group to bully: transgender youth.
GOP lawmakers in both Tennessee and Arizona have sent bills to their respective governors that will require that parents specifically allow kids to be taught about HIV/AIDS, sexual orientation, or gender identity—not just in sex ed, but in History class or wherever else it might be relevant.
Remember Tennessee’s “Don’t Say Gay” bills from the long-ago time of 2012-2013? This is the same thing with a different haircut.
Meanwhile, yet another bill that would ban transgender girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity has passed the GOP-controlled North Dakota legislature and awaits the governor’s signature.
Strikingly similar legislation continues to advance in the Alabama legislature, as well.
A bill banning trans girls from women’s sport is advancing in Florida, too, and this one requires a transgender kid to prove their assigned-at-birth sex via any of several invasive medical tests—including “an examination of their reproductive anatomy.”
Lawmakers in Texas are considering legislation that would classify gender-affirming medical treatment as “child abuse” and could result in transgender kids being taken away from parents who seek this crucial health care for their children.
Remember, though, that this is all performative moral panic bullshit designed to gin up the GOP’s base and attempt to Democrats who stand up for the transgender community on the defensive.
Sure, many Republicans legitimately question transgender folks’ right to even exist, and that’s extremely awful.
But the ones who are trying to legislate the transgender community into the shadows (if not out of existence altogether) are many of the same folks who fought desperately against same-sex marriage for years.
They lost that fight. So they’re picking a new one—this time with a group of folks they perceive as having less political clout.
Literally, kids. Republicans are bullying kids via state law.
They’re using their legislative power to tell trans kids that they don’t matter, and worse—that they shouldn’t even exist.
Eventually, this fight will be as politically toxic for the GOP as marriage equality became.
But how many people have to suffer—have their very existence debated by people who make laws—before this comes to pass?
Adjusted Gross Income: Some states that pass these transgender sports bans will actually face consequences, which is … something, I guess.
Money talks, and the NCAA is saying that it won’t hold any college sports championships in states with these bans in place.
That means Republicans in some of these states are potentially are setting themselves up to lose lots of college sports money—those big games bring in millions in tax revenue and local business activity.
So this is an actual threat. A statement with teeth.
… unlike a certain public statement signed by hundreds of top-level corporate executives and companies that appeared in the New York Times and Washington Post as a two-page ad earlier this week.
In it, execs from companies like Merck and Google proclaimed their opposition to “any discriminatory legislation” that makes casting a ballot more difficult.
Merck’s chief executive was actually one of the leaders who organized the whole effort.
Too bad his company donated almost $100,000 to supporters of voter suppression bills in the 2020 election cycle alone.
Unless these companies are prepared to refuse to donate money to GOP state lawmakers and the organizations who support the electeds who write, pass, sign, implement, and defend voter suppression bills (including the Republican State Leadership Committee, the Republican Governors Association, and the Republican Attorneys General Association), such a statement is a self-congratulatory waste of ink.
I wrote a fews weeks ago in this space about how some Georgia companies conveniently neglected to express their opposition to that state’s voter suppression legislation until it became law, despite the fact that it had been under consideration—and in the news—for months.
Those companies include two of Georgia’s biggest: Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola.
Those companies also happened to be significant contributors to many of the lawmakers responsible for Georgia’s new voter suppression law.