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Jayapal, Markey Introduce Landmark Trans Bill of Rights

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Representatives Sara Jacobs (CA-51), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Mark Takano (CA-39), and David Cicilline (RI-01) are re-introducing the Transgender Bill of Rights amidst unprecedented attacks on trans rights. This resolution provides a comprehensive policy framework to provide protections for transgender and nonbinary people, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to thrive, regardless of their gender identity or expression.

“Day after day, we see a constant onslaught of anti-trans rhetoric and legislation coming from elected officials. Today we say enough is enough,” said Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Co-Chair of the Transgender Equality Task Force. “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. 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.”

“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,” said Senator Markey. “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.”

In 2023 alone, there have been more than 450 anti-LGBTQ+ bills proposed in both state and federal legislature, jeopardizing the safety and mental health of LGBTQ+ youth and trans youth in particular. Trans Americans are also four times more likely than cisgender peers to be victims of violent crime and more than 40 percent have attempted suicide.

The Trans Bill of Rights calls on the federal government to provide protections for transgender and nonbinary people by:

  • Ensuring that transgender and nonbinary people have equal access to services and public accommodations by amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to explicitly include gender identity and sex characteristics as protected characteristics and amending federal education laws to explicitly clarify that they protect students from discrimination based on gender identity and sex characteristics.
  • Ensuring transgender and nonbinary people have the ability to provide for themselves and their families by codifying Bostock and clarifying that it is illegal to discriminate in employment, housing, and credit based on gender identity and sex characteristics.
  • Ensuring every child has the right to grow up in a supportive environment by having their authentic identity respected in the classroom, ensuring they can participate in school sports with their peers, and ensuring access to an inclusive curriculum. 
  • Recognizing the right to bodily autonomy and ethical healthcare by expanding access to gender-affirming medical care, codifying the right to abortion and contraception, protecting transgender people from discrimination in healthcare, and banning forced surgery on intersex children and infants in violation of ethical standards of care.
  • Promoting the safety of trans and nonbinary people by investing in community services to prevent violence against trans and nonbinary people and expanding services for survivors, investing in mental health services designed for transgender and nonbinary people, and banning so-called “conversion therapy” practices.
  • Enforcing the civil rights of transgender people by requiring the Attorney General to designate a liaison within the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice dedicated to advising and overseeing enforcement of the civil rights of transgender people.

The legislation is co-sponsored by Representatives Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. (NC-12), Colin Allred (TX-32), Becca Balint (VT-AL), Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Rep. Shontel Brown  (OH-11), Cori Bush (MO-01), Andre’ Carson (IN-07), Troy A. Carter, Sr.  (LA-02), Greg Casar (TX-35), Sean Casten (IL-06), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Judy Chu (CA-28), David Cicilline (RI-01), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), Jasmine Crockett (TX-30), Danny K. Davis (IL07), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-10), Lloyd Doggett (TX-37), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (CA-16), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Maxwell Alejandro Frost (FL-10), John Garamendi (CA-08), Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29), Robert Garcia (CA-42), Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL-04), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Al Green (TX-09), Raúl M. Grijalva  (AZ-07), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Brian Higgins (NY-26), Glenn Ivey (MD-04), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Sara Jacobs (CA-51), Henry C. (“Hank”) Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), William R. Keating (MA-09), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Rick Larsen (WA-02), John B. Larson (CT-01), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03), Ted Lieu (CA-36), Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), Doris Matsui (CA-07), Jennifer L. McClellan (VA-04), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Morgan McGarvey (KY-03), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Grace Meng (NY-06), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Kevin Mullin (CA-15), Jerrold Nadler  (NY-12), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-31), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-00), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Katie Porter (CA-47), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Deborah K. Ross (NC-02), Andrea Salinas (OR-06), Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Adam B. Schiff (CA-30), Adam Smith (WA-09), Melanie Stansbury (NM-01), Haley Stevens (MI-11), Mark Takano (CA39), Shri Thanedar  (MI-13 ), Dina Titus (NV-01), Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), Jill Tokuda (HI-02), Paul D. Tonko (NY-20), Lori Trahan (MA-03), David Trone (MD-06), Juan Vargas (CA-52), Nydia M. Velázquez  (NY-07), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-25), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Nikema Williams (GA-05), and Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24).

The legislation is endorsed by Amnesty International USA, Athlete Ally, FORGE, Inc., Gender Justice League, GSBA, Human Rights Campaign, Indivisible, Japanese American Citizens League, Latino Community Fund of Washington State, Lavender Rights Project, LGBTQ Allyship, Movement Advancement Project (MAP), NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Education Association, National Immigrant Justice Center, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Women’s Law Center, People’s Action, PFLAG National, QLaw Foundation of Washington, Seattle Indivisible, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), TransFamilies, Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, True Colors United, Washington Indivisible Podcast, Washington State LGBTQ Commission, Whitman-Walker Institute, and YouthCare.