PA House Republicans Introduce Package of Anti-Trans Bills

A week before the Trans Day of Visibility, a group of Pennsylvania legislators have introduced a package of anti-trans bills targeting students and educators. Surprise – they are Republicans.

The package of bills are framed around protecting free speech as well as also defending parents and teachers. ‘Parents rights’ transcend the rights of students. They also create a legal quagmire, using one legislative solution to address all situations and families and students.

So you see, the victims in the war on transgender kids are parents, teachers, and coaches who are require to simply treat children with respect.

Members authoring legislation contained in the package include Reps. Robert Leadbeter (R-Columbia), Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) and Joe D’Orsie (R-Manchester). 

The package of bills would: 

  • • Grant civil immunity to any parent who refuses to use his or her child’s preferred pronouns or refuses to consent to gender affirming medical services. (Leadbeter)
  • • Grant civil immunity to any individual who refuses to use another person’s preferred pronouns. (Kauffman)
  • • In terms of custody matters, a parent’s refusal to refer to his or her child by the child’s preferred pronouns or refusal to consent to gender affirmation treatments may not be considered by the court when determining the best interest of the child. (Leadbeter) 
  • • Prohibit school districts from disciplining any teacher who refuses to use a child’s preferred pronouns. (D’Orsie)

In otherwords, parents who deny their children autonomy over their bodies or even deny access to life affirming medical care will not be held accountable. Adults who refuse to speak respectfully to other people won’t be heldaccounttable.

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What’s worse is that all of these proposed laws overstep the authority and integrity of governmental institutions- schools, public health, and the courts – to grind trans folx into the ground. The legislature should not tie the hands of family court judges with a general determination that failure to affirm gender identity is not a factor in the child’s best interest. The judge should decide this, case by case, based on evidence. School districts – there are 500 in Pennsylvania – should not have the General Assembly determining local policies. Perhaps if the General Assembly found a way to equitably fund all 500 school districts, they might earn a say. But not today, folx.

Countless studies have shown that that affirming a child’s gender is good for the child’s mental health and wellbeing. Further, intentionally misgendering someone – adult or child – inflicts harm. A child’s identity and gender can and must be treated with respect including while at school.

I sure hope you are planning to vote next month.


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