Baton Rouge, Louisiana Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, thanks members of the Louisiana Senate Health & Welfare Committee for voting to involuntarily defer HB 648, a dangerous attack on age-appropriate, best-practice health care for transgender youth.
HB 648 would have banned physicians from providing age-appropriate, best practice health care for transgender minors under the age of 18. This bill contradicts guidelines recommended by every major medical association including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and more because gender-affirming care saves lives.
Human Rights State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley issued the following statement today:
"Thank you to the Louisiana Senators who did the right thing today and stopped a harmful ban on age-appropriate, medically necessary healthcare for transgender youth. . They heard the voices of transgender kids, their families, and medical experts who bravely shared their stories and chose to treat transgender children with dignity and respect.
Gender affirming care is recommended by the entire mainstream American medical establishment for transgender youth. Age appropriate, medically necessary, gender affirming health care saves lives. The decision about whether to seek this best practice care is a deeply personal one that should be left to a patient, their parents, and their doctor - not politicians. We are relieved by today's vote and hope the legislature will focus on more important issues impacting Louisianans for the remainder of the session, rather than trying to stigmatize and marginalize transgender children."
The Senate is currently considering two additional anti-LGBTQ+ bills, a "Don't Say LGBTQ+" Bill (HB 466) and a Pronoun Restriction Bill (HB 81). HB 466 would block teachers from talking about LGBTQ+ issues or people, further stigmatizing LGBTQ+ people and isolating LGBTQ+ kids. HB 466, a "Don't Say LGBTQ+" bill, would silence educators by banning the instruction and discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity during any extracurricular academic, athletic, or social activities in grades K-12. It also would ban school employees and other presenters from discussing their own sexual orientation or gender identity. HB 81 would allow schools to forcibly out and intentionally misgender transgender and non-binary students.
THE FACTS ABOUT GENDER AFFIRMING CARE
Every credible medical organization representing over 1.3 million doctors in the United States calls for age-appropriate gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary people.
"Transition-related" or "gender-affirming" care looks different for every transgender and non-binary person.
Parents, their kids, and doctors make decisions together, and no medical interventions with permanent consequences happen until a transgender person is old enough to give truly informed consent.
Gender transition is a personal process that can include changing clothes, names, and hairstyles to fit a person's gender identity.
Some people take medication, and some do not; some adults have surgeries, and others do not. How someone transitions is their choice, to be made with their family and their doctor.
Therapists, parents and health care providers work together to determine which changes to make at a given time that are in the best interest of the child.
In most young children, this care can be entirely social. This means:
None of this care is irreversible.
Being transgender is not new.
Some say it can feel like being transgender is very new but that's because the media has been covering it more in recent months and years.
But transgender people have always existed and will continue to exist regardless of the bills we pass.
And very few transgender people change their mind.
ALL gender-affirming care is:
Supported by all major medical organizations
Made in consultation with medical and mental health professionals AND parents
And in many cases, this care is lifesaving
A recent study from the Trevor Project provides data supporting this transgender youth with access to gender-affirming hormone therapy have lower rates of depression and are at a lower risk for suicide.
For more information, please visit www.hrc.org/resources/get-the-facts-on-gender-affirming-care .
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.