Following the recent protests in the United States regarding reproductive rights, new legislation known as the Women’s Bill of Rights could now push the fight for equality for LGBTQ+ people back even further.
The Republican party has introduced the Women’s Bill of Rights, which has left Democrats frustrated. If passed, the only ‘right’ cis women will have is to be separated from Transgender women, but not Transgender males, in certain public spaces.
The six points affirmed in the Women’s Bill of Rights are summarised below.
- Sex refers to an individual’s biological sex at birth.
- Woman and girl refer to “human females” while man and boy refer to “human males”.
- Mother refers to a parent of the female sex and father refers to a parent of the male sex.
- Due to biology, safety, and privacy concerns, “There are important reasons to distinguish between the sexes with respect to athletics, prisons, domestic violence shelters, restrooms, and other areas.” (This statement suggests that Transgender women will be forced to occupy these public spaces with cis males.)
- The government has the right to “distinguish between the sexes”.
- The government will base data collection on the “biological sex of individuals at birth”.
Points one through three are definitions for the government to clarify terms, the fourth point is a right for only cisgender women, and points five and six are actions the government will take. The headline of the legislation is misleading as it does not include a substantial list of rights that women will have.
The legislation was introduced by individuals who have been noted to oppose certain LGBTQ+ rights. Republican Senator from Wyoming, Cynthia Lummis, was recently booed on stage while giving a commencement speech at the University. Lummis allegedly mocked Transgender people but later denied what she had said.
Despite signing the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) from the United Nations, the United States does not implement the international treaty. This document outlines women’s rights in 30 articles covering a wide array of topics. It is evident that the Women’s Bill of Rights does not include the same rights for women outlined in the CEDAW.
Policy Director for the National Center for Transgender Equality, Olivia Hunt, stated, “The Republican resolution is another in a long line of cynical attempts by anti-LGBTQ extremists around the country to erase Transgender and non-binary people from our communities. More than a century of science has shown us that biology is far more complicated than what the authors of this resolution describe and that Trans and non-binary people’s genders are just as real and just as valid as everyone else’s. Science simply doesn’t support this attempt at making our existence a ‘culture war.’”
Disagreements between Republicans and Democrats continue as recent polls from Morning Consult reveal that 40% of Republicans believe that teachers have an influence over the sexuality and gender identity of children. Additionally, 31% of Republicans say they are uncomfortable with LGBTQ+ individuals teaching and working with their children.
These results are not entirely surprising as Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill was passed earlier this year and similar bills were introduced in 15 other states.
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