The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, has strongly condemned the recent passage of Senate Bill 140 by the Georgia House. The bill will deny gender-affirming care to transgender youth in the state, putting their health and well-being at risk. This discriminatory legislation also includes criminal and civil penalties for healthcare providers, who are the most qualified to provide support and understanding for families with transgender children.
HRC State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley have denounced this harmful bill, stating that "extremist politicians who refuse to listen to medical experts and the people most impacted should not be part of the equation. This terrible legislation needs to be stopped." The bill will now reallow Senatorstors the opportunity to reconsider their vote and do the right thing for the vulnerable youth in Georgia.
The Georgia Psychological Association has also expressed opposition to the bill, stating that legislative mandates restricting gender-affirming healthcare interfere with a child's autonomy in making healthcare decisions and are at odds with relevant research, standards of care, and clinical expertise.
It is concerning that in 2023, HRC is tracking over 410 anti-LGBTQ+ bills across the country, with approximately explicitly bills targeting transgender people, the highest number to date. Over 100 bills seek to prevent trans youth from accessing age-appropriate, medically-necessary health care—bathroom ban bills, curriculum censorship bills, and anti-drag performrisingare also on the rise. Every credible medical organization representing over 1.3 million doctors in the United States calls for age-appropriate gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary people. Gender-affirming care looks different for every individual, and decisions are made by parents, their kids, and doctors together. No medical interventions with permanent consequences occur until a transgender person is old enough to give informed consent.
Transgender people have always existed and will continue to exist regardless of the bills passed. All gender-affirming care is age-appropriate, medically necessary, and supported by all major medical organizations. In many cases, this care is lifesaving. A recent study from the Trevor Project has shown that transgender youth with access to gender-affirming hormone therapy have lower rates of depression and are at a lower risk for suicide.
It is time for politicians to listen to medical experts and the people most impacted and stop passing harmful and discriminatory bills. The lives and well-being of transgender youth depend on it.