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Final pieces of legislation targeting Virginia trans youth fail in committee

All proposed bills targeting transgender people in Virginia are now off the table in Richmond.

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Senate Education and Health Committee has killed two remaining pieces of legislation targeting trans people in the Commonwealth. 

One of those bills is HB 1387. The bill would ban transgender students from participating in sports teams that match their gender identity. The other was HB 2432, which would require school staff to “out” transgender and nonbinary students to their parents, regardless of individual consent or consideration of circumstances such as an unsafe home environment. In total, 12 transgender-related bills were introduced this year in Virginia. All of them are not moving forward. 

Equality Virginia thanked the committee for striking down the last two bills. 

“As we approach the end of a hard-fought legislative session that saw two anti-trans bills pass the floor of the House of Delegates, all bills targeting trans and nonbinary youth are officially dead for the 2023 legislative session here in Virginia,” said Narissa Rahaman, executive director of Equality Virginia in a press statement. “These bills targeted young people – especially trans and nonbinary youth – further stigmatizing them at home, at school and in their communities. But everyday Virginians showed up in fierce opposition to all twelve bills and sent a message that hate is not a Virginia value. Policies attacking trans rights have no place in our commonwealth, and that includes Governor Youngkin and the Virginia Department of Education’s anti-trans model guidance, which is still under review. Transgender and nonbinary people deserve a Virginia that celebrates their beauty, and we won’t stop fighting for that reality.”

Other Virginia leaders echoed Rahaman's thoughts. 

“Far too often, society’s message to transgender children and youth is that they don't belong and that they should not be seen for who they are. These bills continue to perpetuate bigotry and discrimination, and the Senate's Democratic majority has been able to stop their harm,” said Senator Ghazala Hashmi, Chair of the Senate Public Education Subcommittee. “We need to focus on funding our schools, providing mental health services, supporting our teachers and ensuring safe learning environments. It's time to stop these culture wars that target trans kids.”

Nationwide, legislators have proposed more than 320 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the first two months of the year, according to Equality Virginia. About 200 of these target trans rights, specifically trans kids - excluding them from sports, prohibiting them from using school bathrooms, preventing them from accessing life-saving medical care.

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