Today, the Arkansas Senate passed the HB1570 bill to deny access to gender-affirming care for all transgender minors. According to NBC News, this includes reversible puberty blockers and hormones, making it the first state to do so. This bill is just one of two types of legislation that is being considered across the U.S. The other bill, which bans trans youth athletes from competing in sports associated with their gender identity, has already been passed in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
Before the bill was passed, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) used its Twitter account to speak out against the bill. Chase Strangio, who serves as the Deputy Director for transgender justice at the ALCU LGBT & HIV Project, called the bill “the single most extreme anti-trans law to ever pass through a state legislature.” Chase also mentioned that trans people living in the states where the law was passed are afraid of what the upcoming months will look like as more states become privy to the bill.
The ACLU is prepared to keep fighting for the rights of trans people. Chase told NBC News that the organization plans to sue if the bills pass or other states pass similar measures. In addition, on Twitter, ACLU is calling for supporters to take action by calling Governor Hutchinson and asking him to veto the bill. Rumba Yambú, who is the Director of a trans support group ‘Intransitive,’ is making sure the ACLU isn’t in this fight alone. He also advised to NBC News that they will keep fighting as well.
As far as the next step for the bill, it will now head to Governor Asa Hutchinson, and unless he vetoes the bill, Arkansas will become the first state to ban gender-affirming care for trans youth.
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