Discover more from Law Dork
A new anti-trans law in Utah, eight more anti-LGBTQ bills pass a state legislative chamber
The legislative action comes in a week when The New York Times dismissed criticism of its coverage of trans people.
A new anti-trans bill was signed into law in Utah this week, and eight bills negatively impacting LGBTQ people’s lives passed a state legislative chamber this week.
This was what was happening across the country as The New York Times was busy dismissing writers’ questions about their news coverage of transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people’s lives.
The bills advancing this week, identified through a review of the ACLU’s legislative tracker, would restrict the ability of trans minors to receive gender-affirming medical care, limit the ability of queer people to get therapy, increase parental control over schools to restrict children’s ability to learn, and more.
As I have reported at Law Dork, two anti-transgender bills had already been signed into law this year banning gender-affirming medical care for minors — one in Utah and, earlier this week, another in South Dakota.
On Thursday, Republican Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed a third bill, S.B. 100, into law. As reported previously here, the new law restricts the ability of children to identify as transgender in school without risk of their parents being able to access to that information.
According to my review, more than 30 anti-LGBTQ bills have passed at least one chamber of a state’s legislature before the 50th day of the year. (I’ve provided legislative updates previously on Feb. 6 and Feb. 13.)
New anti-LGBTQ bills to pass a state legislative chamber this week include two in Idaho and one each in Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.
A chamber in both Idaho and Oklahoma this week passed bills banning gender-affirming medical care for minors. The Idaho House passed H.B. 71 on Feb. 14, and the bill was received by the Senate the next day. It would make provision of such treatment — including prescribing puberty blockers or hormones — a felony, subject to up to 10 years in prison. Oklahoma’s Senate passed S.B. 613 on Feb. 15, and it was received in the House the next day. The Oklahoma bill also would make provision of such treatment a felony that includes a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
On Feb. 15, Idaho’s House also passed H.B. 63, a bill that would allow therapists to deny patients treatment that conflicts with the therapist’s “sincerely held principles.” An even more broad “conscience” exemption bill, affecting all medical services, passed Montana’s House on Feb. 7 (H.B. 303).
Indiana’s House, meanwhile, passed a bill (H.B. 1569) on Feb. 14 that would purport to ban the state prison system from paying for gender-affirming surgery for people serving prison sentences in the state.
In the passed 10 days, a chamber in Kentucky, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Carolina each passed a version of — or elements of — a “Parents’ Bill of Rights” bill. The Missouri bill (S.B. 4) is a combined version of several bills that includes a “Parents’ Bill of Rights” section, curriculum dictates, elements of Florida’s “Stop WOKE Act,” and more. It passed the House on Feb. 14 and was received by the Senate the next day.
The North Dakota bill, S.B. 2260, provides several specific limitations on educators and provides parents with the ability to sue to enforce the law. It passed the Senate on Feb. 10 and was received in the Senate this week. North Dakota’s Senate also passed a bill, S.B. 2231, the same day that would bar schools from “classroom instruction recognizing expressed gender” and limit use of preferred pronouns for an individual student to times when the student’s parents approve. It also would bar government entities from requiring people to address people with their preferred pronouns.
South Carolina’s House passed its bill, H. 3728, on Feb. 9. It includes elements of both “Parents’ Bill of Rights” bills and the “Stop WOKE Act.”
On Feb. 14, North Dakota’s House passed a school-related bill as well, H.B. 1488, which would require parental permission for a student to join any extracurricular activity or club. (North Dakota’s House has also passed H.B. 1111, a bill stating that international health body regulations are not enforceable in the state. Honestly.)
Finally, South Dakota’s House passed H.B. 1116 on Feb. 15. The bill would bar performances on public spaces or using public funds that South Dakota law determines to be “lewd or lascivious.” It appears to be a drag-related bill — with some of the vagueness questions raised by some of the other such bills.
In particular, check out subsection 5. I’m not sure I’d like to be the judge giving the first interpretation of that.
Law Dork with Chris Geidner is independent, reader-supported legal and political journalism that seeks to hold government and other public officials accountable. Support this reporting by becoming a free or paid subscriber today.
Altogether, per my review, anti-LGBTQ bills have already passed a legislative chamber in 17 states:
North Carolina (1)
North Dakota (6)
South Carolina (1)
South Dakota (2)
West Virginia (1)
Thanks for reading Law Dork. Subscribe now.
This post was updated at 5:30 p.m. to include reference to and discussion of Kentucky legislation.