Anti-trans bills defeated in North Carolina, Florida and Montana this week

With the slate of anti-transgender bills working their way through legislatures across the country it is somewhat encouraging to see that several of these bills were voted down or pushed back in some states this week. 

In Florida, a particularly egregious anti-trans bill focused on banning trans girls from participating in sports passed the Florida House on April 14 but appears to be heading to defeat in the Senate, despite a Republican majority. The bill will not be heard in committee today, signaling a reluctance to move the bill forward. The bill’s senate sponsor stated that the focus will be on other issues during the remaining two weeks of the senate session. 

Since the introduction of the bill in the House there has been a large outcry from equality advocates as well as from the business community and the NCAA, which has made it clear that no championship games will take place in states with discriminatory laws. Despite denial from Republican lawmakers, it appears that the potential exodus of NCAA games and business relocations out of state is having an impact in moving these anti-trans bills. 

A proposed North Carolina bill that would have banned certain medical care for transgender people under 21 years will also not be heard by the Senate, effectively ending its prospects for passage. That bill would have prohibited transgender youth from receiving gender-affirming hormone treatments, surgery or puberty blockers while also forcing teachers and other government employees to notify parents of any signs of “gender non-conformity.” 

Even as this bill faces defeat, advocates in North Carolina continue to fight other proposed anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, including a bill that would ban transgender women from participating in women’s high school and college sports.

In Montana, the combined opposition from human rights advocates, the trans community, and medical experts seems to have played a role in helping defeat a bill that banned gender-affirming surgeries for trans youth. A motion to indefinitely postpone the bill passed with the support of eight Republicans in the majority-Republican Senate. 

Despite these wins, there are more bills being proposed and passed in legislatures around the country and each bill hurts the trans community, regardless of passage. As pointed out by Equality NC, one of the organizations fighting these bills in North Carolina: “This is welcome news, but the trauma and impact of these bills on the trans community over the past few weeks have been horrifying.”