Standing up to Hate throughout the States

Mr. Speaker,

I rise today to speak about the hateful and discriminatory legislation targeting transgender people that is sweeping through state legislatures.

North Carolina and Mississippi have already passed anti-LGBT laws.

Right now, there is anti-transgender legislation pending before legislatures in Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, South Carolina, Washington, and Tennessee.

Tomorrow, Tennessee lawmakers will vote in committee on House Bill 2414, a bill that would require students to go into gender-specific bathrooms that matches the gender on their birth certificate.

Yet, Tennessee is one of the few states that does not allow a transgender person to change their birth certificate.

It is ultimately a lose-lose for transgender people.

This bill would cause very real emotional harm and put transgender young people in physical danger if they are required to use gender-inappropriate restrooms and locker rooms.

In fact, over twenty transgender people, most women of color, were murdered last year alone.

Yet, zero — that’s right, zero — women have been murdered in a bathroom by a transgender person.

These anti-transgender bills in the states are rooted in fear, animus, and deeply misguided notions about who transgender people are.

I speak today as a Member of Congress and as the proud grandfather of a granddaughter who is transgender.

These laws do not make us safer. These laws stoke misguided fears. They divide us.

We must stand up to these laws, and promote our values of acceptance, inclusiveness, and equality.

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