Transgender Bill of Rights reintroduced in Congress ahead of International Day of Visibility

Washington DC - Ahead of Transgender Day of Visibility, Senator Ed Markey and Representative Pramila Jayapal teamed up to reintroduce a Transgender Bill of Rights.

Senator Ed Markey and Representative Pramila Jayapal have reintroduced the Transgender Bill of Rights in the 118th Congress.
Senator Ed Markey and Representative Pramila Jayapal have reintroduced the Transgender Bill of Rights in the 118th Congress.  © Collage: Kevin Dietsch / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP & ALEX WONG / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Amid the slew of Republican attacks on LGBTQ+ rights, Markey, Jayapal, and more congressional Democrats are proposing a very different agenda focused on guaranteeing federal protections for trans and non-binary people.

"Day after day, we see a constant onslaught of anti-trans rhetoric and legislation coming from elected officials. Today we say enough is enough," Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, whose daughter is transgender, said in a statement.

"Our Trans Bill of Rights says clearly to the trans community across the country that we see you and we will stand with you to ensure you are protected and given the dignity and respect that every person should have," she continued. "With this resolution, we salute the resilience and courage of trans people across our country, and outline a clear vision of what we must do in Congress in order to allow trans people to lead full, happy lives as their authentic selves."

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Markey stated, "On this and every International Transgender Day of Visibility, we are reminded of our moral obligation to defend the fundamental rights of trans people against the violence, discrimination and bigotry that too often mark their lived experience in our country."

"Lives are at stake. The health, safety and freedom of trans people are at stake. Congress must take a stand in the face of dangerous, transphobic attacks waged by far-right state legislatures and once again reaffirm our nation’s bedrock commitment to equality and justice for all," he added.

According to the statement, trans Americans are four times more likely to be victims of violent crime, while over 40% have attempted suicide.

What would the Transgender Bill of Rights do?

Protesters gather in front of the Texas State Capitol to rally against anti-trans bills moving through the state legislature.
Protesters gather in front of the Texas State Capitol to rally against anti-trans bills moving through the state legislature.  © Brandon Bell / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The Trans Bill of Rights includes a comprehensive list of protections for trans and non-binary Americans, including:

  • Expanding the definition of sex discrimination in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include gender identity and sex characteristics;
  • Amending federal education laws to protect students from discrimination based on gender identity and sex characteristics;
  • Making it illegal to discriminate based on gender identity and sex characteristics in employment, housing, and credit;
  • Ensuring trans kids have their identities respected in the classroom, are able to play on school sports teams, and have an inclusive curriculum;
  • Expanding access to gender-affirming care;
  • Codifying the right to abortion and contraception;
  • Banning forced surgery on intersex children and infants;
  • Investing in community services to prevent violence against trans and non-binary people;
  • Investing in mental health services for trans and non-binary people;
  • Outlawing "conversion therapy"; and
  • Requiring the US attorney general to designate a liaison within the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division tasked with monitoring enforcement of trans civil rights.

Unfortunately, with a Republican majority in the House, it is unlikely the bill would make it through the lower chamber this session.

The legislation's reintroduction comes less than a week after GOP House members pushed through the Parents Bill of Rights Act targeting trans students' rights in schools. The anti-LGBTQ+ measure is expected to die in the Senate.

Cover photo: Brandon Bell / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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