TIMELINE-How transgender rights became the focus of a U.S. culture war

Wednesday, 31 March 2021 16:51 GMT

FILE PHOTO: People participate in a Black Trans Lives Matter rally in the Brooklyn borough in New York City on June 14, 2020. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

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Republicans across the country have introduced a record 127 bills on transgender issues in 22 U.S. states this year

By Matthew Lavietes

NEW YORK, March 31 (Openly) - Transgender rights have been propelled to the forefront of the U.S. culture war, with advocates and conservatives battling over access to medical treatment and inclusion in schools' sports.

Arkansas lawmakers passed a bill this week that could make the state the first in the country to prevent doctors from providing certain types of care to trans youth.

In total, Republicans have introduced a record 127 bills on trans issues in 22 states this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest LGBT+ advocacy group.

Here are some key moments in the U.S. row over trans rights as the world marks International Transgender Day of Visibility on Wednesday:


* March 29 - Arkansas Senate passed a measure barring doctors from treating trans youth, the first time such a bill has passed both chambers of a state's legislature.

* March 27 - Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed Senate bill (SB) 2536 into law, barring trans girls and women from competing in school sports - the third state to pass such legislation this year and the fourth ever.

* March 25 - Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed SB 354 into law, barring trans girls and women from competing in school sports, the second state to pass such a law in 2021.

* March 18 - Alabama House of Representatives passed House bill (HB) 391, that would bar trans girls and women from competing in single-sex sports. The bill is expected to be passed in the state's Republican-led Senate.

* March 11 - Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed SB 2536 into law, banning trans athletes from women's and girls sports at public schools and universities - the first state to pass such a bill during the Biden administration.

* March 2 - Alabama Senate passed SB 10 that would make it a felony for healthcare providers to treat trans youth up to age 19, with a penalty of up to 10 years in prison or a $15,000 fine. The bill is due to be voted on by the state's House.

* Feb. 23 - The Biden administration withdrew government support for a federal lawsuit that sought to ban trans athletes from girls' and women's school sports in Connecticut. The case won the backing of then-President Donald Trump when it was filed a year earlier by the families of three female students to challenge Connecticut's rule allowing trans athletes to compete in girls' school sports.


* Aug. 17 - A federal judge blocked a landmark Idaho law, HB500, that barred trans girls and women from competing in school sports teams matching their gender identity. Idaho was the first state to sign such a ban into law on March 30.

May 28 - The Department of Education ruled against allowing trans girls to compete in girls' sports leagues, calling it a violation against "female athletes" and said schools allowing the practice could lose federal funding.


Arkansas legislature votes to ban transgender treatments for youth

U.S. government weighs in against trans girls competing on girls' teams

Idaho becomes first U.S. state to ban trans athletes

(Reporting by Matthew Lavietes; Editing by Katy Migiro and Hugo Greenhalgh. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)

Openly is an initiative of the Thomson Reuters Foundation dedicated to impartial coverage of LGBT+ issues from around the world.

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