With Sen. Kathleen Kauth at the helm, state lawmakers have introduced two bills targeting transgender youth in Nebraska. These bills follow closely on the heels of hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in state legislatures across the country over the last few years.
LB574 would ban all forms of gender-affirming care for youth under 19 years of age. In addition, this bill would punish healthcare providers who provide medically-sound and affirming care to minors, including everything from reversible puberty blockers to hormone replacement therapy and surgeries. This dangerous bill will cause direct harm to transgender youth, who when supported, experience better outcomes across the board.
LB575 proposes restrictions that would prevent transgender students from participating in school sports by requiring them to play on teams designated for their sex assigned at birth. This includes restricting use of locker rooms and restroom facilities, despite â€œbathroom billsâ€ having already been defeated in federal court under Title IX protections.
These damaging and extreme bills aim to create legal precedent for forcing transgender Nebraskans out of public life. Sports bans are antithetical to the values of Nebraska, a state that prides itself on the life lessons we promote through those very activities. Similarly, Nebraskans across the state agree that medical care should be made by patients and their families collaborating with doctors and mental health professionalsâ€”not by politicians.
â€œWe must allow transgender youth to experience health, freedom and joy without unjust restrictions. When we let our young people live authentically in every aspect of their lives, we create a well-adjusted generation to inherit our communities for the better,â€ says Abbi Swatsworth, Executive Director of OutNebraska.
OutNebraska will continue to defend the rights of all LGBTQ+ Nebraskans, including doing everything in our power to protect transgender youth. To get involved, sign up to be an LGBTQ+ advocate at bit.ly/SupportOutNE, and attend SpeakOut Nebraska, where we will be covering the Nebraska legislature and ways you can get engaged.
OutNebraska is a non-partisan organization working to empower, celebrate and grow LGBTQ+ communities in Nebraska. For more information visit outnebraska.org.