". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


States Enact 84 Laws Protecting Citizens against Transgender Extremism

December 21, 2023

States across the country passed dozens of laws — and have debated hundreds of pieces of legislation — to protect children from the predatory transgender industry, a new analysis has found.

In all, 23 state legislatures passed 84 separate laws this year preventing minors from being subjected to transgender surgeries, securing parental rights, shielding kids from sexually explicit drag queen shows, safeguarding the privacy of women’s facilities, ensuring fairness in women’s sports, and strengthening religious conscience rights. As 2023 comes to a close, 193 more bills are currently advancing through the legislative process nationwide, and legislators voted down another 227 bills, according to a tally from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

“It’s great seeing states step up to the plate to protect parental rights, and ultimately, the health, well-being, and safety of children,” Alex Nester, an investigative fellow at Parents Defending Education, told The Washington Stand.

The report shows that lawmakers have responded to parents’ greatest concerns, thanks to the active engagement of grassroots Christian conservatives, FRC Action Vice President Brent Keilen told The Washington Stand. “Just a few years ago, areas like indoctrinating children and allowing men in women’s sports seemed like a bridge too far” for many politicians to touch, he said. “Now these issues are front and center,” showing genuine progress toward protecting women and children from the harms of extreme gender ideology.

The laws, which earn the overwhelming support of American voters, are so popular that supermajorities of state legislators voted to override Democratic governors’ vetoes of eight pieces of gender protections in Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and North Carolina.

Even as pro-family advocates celebrate their victories, they sharply disagree with the ACLU’s characterization of the bills in a year-end report released this week titled “Mapping Attacks on LGBTQ Rights in U.S. State Legislatures.”

For instance, the liberal activist organization presents Texas S.B. 12 as one of the nation’s “free speech & expression bans.” But pro-family advocates called the law — which states that commercial businesses “may not allow a sexually oriented performance to be presented on the premises in the presence of an individual younger than 18” — a protection of children.

The ACLU describes West Virginia House Bill 3042, which became law in March, as “weakening civil rights laws.” Yet the bill does not mention homosexuality or gender confusion; instead, it strengthens civil rights by “forbidding excessive government limitations on exercise of religion.” The law codifies the national Religious Freedom Restoration Act, introduced by then-Rep. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton.

The ACLU also took aim at laws that grant less of the transgender political agenda than the group would like. In March, Utah enacted S.B. 93, which allows minors to change the sex and name on their birth certificate at the ripe old age of “15 years and six months old.” (The new status takes effect when they turn 16.) Yet the ACLU asserts that the law creates “barriers to accurate IDs” by establishing additional criteria and setting an age limit (albeit one before adulthood).

“America is witnessing a collision of worldviews and values,” Keilen told TWS. “As this collision has intensified, we’ve seen legislators in a number of states step up to the plate and work to protect their state’s children and families.”

“It is important that these legislators continue to stand up for policies like the SAFE Act, protecting women’s sports, and other areas that protect minors, women, and families,” Keilen added.

This clash of worldview is most clearly expressed in the 1,048 school districts that will hide children’s “social transition” from their parents, according to a list compiled by Parents Defending Education (PDE). The districts, which may be seen on PDE’s “Indoctrination Map,” affect 10.7 million students.

“The rise of parental exclusion policies, after numerous reports of gender transition clinics fostering relationships with school districts, is alarming,” Nester told TWS. “It is unconscionable for taxpayer-funded public schools to usurp a family’s responsibility to care for children.”

Although the effects of the radical transgender movement have emerged as a political issue dividing the two major parties, Republican governors in deep-red states do not always support such protections. One of the laws in the ACLU’s list took effect without the governor’s signature: a Wyoming law (SF133) protecting women from competing against males, or showering and changing in front of them. Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon, a Republican, denounced the bill as “draconian” and discriminatory.”

The ACLU, which has sought to establish that minors have an unalienable “right” to receive cross-sex hormone injections and organ removals, noted with pleasure that 14 of the 84 laws are currently tied up in court.

The most consequential of the laws recounted in the ACLU’s report are acts keeping minors from undergoing irreparable transgender procedures. In all, 22 states protect children from transgender procedures as of this writing. “The protective laws have been temporarily or permanently blocked by judges in four states, and the attorney general has refused to enforce the law in one,” noted the American College of Pediatricians, which maintains its own map of such states.

That total will increase to 23 if Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) signs HB 68. The bill protects children from transgender procedures and protects women’s sports by combining the Saving Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act and the Save Women’s Sports Act.

Both houses of the Ohio legislature passed the bill with lopsided majorities after hearing from detransitioners such as Chloe Cole. It currently sits on DeWine’s desk, but the governor has not commented on whether he will sign or veto the bill.

“He’s under fire from the usual suspects of people who are ready to villainize those who are working to protect children from mutilation and sterilization,” said former Congressman Jody Hice on Tuesday’s episode of “Washington Watch.”

Ohio State Rep. Gary Click (R-Vickery) told Hice that the scarred youth of Ohio are waiting for DeWine to listen, and asking for voters to call the governor’s office at (614) 466-3555.

“We’ve let him talk to trans kids’ parents and detransitioners,” Click said. “They’re ready just to burst into tears of joy when the governor signs this bill.”

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.