On 2nd March, lawmakers in Alabama passed an anti-transgender bill that will prohibit medical professionals from providing vital healthcare and gender-affirming treatment to trans people under the age of 19. If the Alabama House of Representatives approves its companion bill, Alabama would be the first state in the US to pass a bill of this kind.
The bill would not just prevent medical professionals from performing gender affirming surgeries and administering hormone or puberty blockers to trans youth but make it a class C felony; this would result in a 10-year prison sentence or $15,000 fine.
A Human Rights Violation
The bill is called the “Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act” but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The Alabama state government is putting right wing religious morality above the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people with this totally abhorrent human rights violation.
In a state where a staggering 86% of the population are Christian, many young people will face persecution from their parents and now the Alabama state government have removed their only possible support network by making it mandatory for teachers, counselors and school staff to report to their parents if a “minor’s perception that his or her gender is inconsistent with his or her sex”.
Essentially, this creates a requirement for teachers to “out” their students without their consent. These lawmakers claim that they’re trying to protect young people when in reality they’re exposing them to a world of depression, isolation and potentilly suicide. You can’t take away someone’s basic rights and then make it almost impossible for them to seek help!
Doctor/patient confidentiality would be no more, the decisions made by parents to support their children would be overruled and thousands of already marginalised young people will face further persecution for simply wanting to express themselves.
Attack on the Trans Community
Another bill known as the “gender is real legislative act” or “girl act,” is also about to be passed in Alabama. It calls for transgender athletes in schools to compete based on the gender listed on their birth certificate. Similar laws have already been passed in Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, and several states look to be following suit and potentially passing similar backwards laws.
Taken together with the “Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act”, this represents a clear attempt to invalidate the gender identity of trans and gender questioning children. This represents a step backwards in the fight for gender equality.