House Bill ‘Transgender Bill of Rights’ attempts to codify abortion

by mcardinal

Lauren Moye, FISM News

 

Five Democrats introduced House legislation on Tuesday that would codify LGTBQ status as a protected class under the existing Civil Rights Act. Heralded as the “Transgender Bill of Rights,” the bill also includes a ban on conversion therapy and increased access to sex change “health care,” a clause that would in essence codify abortion.

“Amidst unprecedented attacks on our rights, this landmark resolution lays out concrete steps for providing protections for transgender and nonbinary folks,” the press release from Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) reads.

Alongside adding transgender and nonbinary-identifying individuals to the Civil Rights Act, the bill would also codify the Bostock v Clayton County decision which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace. The act additionally seeks to codify “gender-affirming medical care” and secure funding to expand mental health services. The language that would ensure gender affirming medical care, would include abortion and contraception as part of the carveout. 

The bill is largely in response to the recent Supreme Court Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. In his concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas’s suggested that other landmark rulings should be revisited, which liberals have repeatedly used to stoke fears that the decision won’t stop with Roe.

Jayapal accused Republicans and “extremist” justices of rolling back fundamental LGTBQ rights even though there are no current cases challenging the legitimacy of the Bostock decision or Obergefell v. Hodges, which recognized same-sex marriages. Still, the Washington representative said, “We are standing up and saying enough is enough.”

Other House Democrats David Cicilline (R.I.), Marie Newman (Ill.), Mark Takano (Calif.), and Ritchie Torres (N.Y.) joined Jayapal in introducing the legislation, which has over 80 cosponsors to date.

Yesterday, Torres told MSNBC that it was the “highest priority of the LGTBQ members in the House Democratic Caucus” to “protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in matters of employment, housing, and public accommodations.”

However, House Resolution 1209 goes beyond basic protections for the LGTBQ community to live and work. It seeks to codify a right to abortion and contraception, requires the controversial “X” gender marker to be available on government identification documents and records, ensure that transgender athletes would be able to compete against those of an opposite biological sex, and bans conversion therapy, calling the attempt to counsel those who are gender-confused “fraudulent and harmful.” What counts for the latter is not clearly defined, which many believe would open churches up to greater criticism and legal attack.

American Principles, a conservative group, said that “Democrats have gone insane” for several points included in the so-called Transgender Bill of Rights, and pointed to the fact that a Pew Research poll showed “Americans are largely opposed to this agenda.”

The bill has become additional leverage for Democrats as they attempt to garner enough support to end the filibuster in the Senate.  Jayapal noted that if there was “only a 51-vote threshold” it would enable the Equality Act – similar legislation which would amend the Civil Rights Act that passed the House in February 2021 – to pass in the Senate. She later tweeted simply, “End the filibuster.”

Yesterday, Democratic Reps. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema both reiterated that they had no plans to change their stance on supporting filibuster laws, leaving the possibility of a drastic change to Senate procedures dead in the water.

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