Virginia Republicans’ bid to make trans school kids go to court for basic rights voted down

A photo from London Trans + Pride event shows protesters holding up a sign reading "trans inclusion in schools"

Lawmakers in Virginia have voted unanimously to reject a bill that would have forced trans students to obtain a court order to update their name in school.

The Virginia House of Delegates subcommittee voted on Wednesday (January 25) to kill the anti-trans bill which would have forced students to take an unnecessary legal route to simply be themselves.

Equality Virginia executive director, Narissa Rahaman, said in a statement that LGBTQ+ students “thrive” in spaces where they feel safe and affirmed.

“This bill served no educational purpose and was entirely unnecessary,” Rahaman stated.

“LGBTQ+ students thrive when they are provided safe, affirming and supportive learning spaces, which includes allowing them to go by their chosen name without jumping through legal hoops.

“HB 1434 would have run counter too that by creating a hostile school environment,” Rahaman added.

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“By tabling this bill the subcommittee has sent a strong message that LGBTQ+ students belong in Virginia.” 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia took to Twitter after the vote to celebrate the win.

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They said: “Trans & nonbinary students should be able to go to school and be called by their chosen names, without fear of being outed.”

The US has introduced more than 100 damning, anti-LGBTQ+ bills in 23 states, in 2023 alone.

Some states have enacted restrictions on things such as gender-affirming care, which has been proven to be beneficial for young trans people, according to research.

A survey undertaken by The Trevor Project found that 71 per cent of young LGBTQ+ people in the US – and 86 per cent of trans and non-binary youth – said that recent debates about restricting laws have had a negative impact on their mental health.

And 75 per cent of LGBTQ+ youth (82 per cent trans and non-binary) said reports of violence against LGBTQ+ spaces resulted in stress or anxiety.

Primarily aimed at transgender young people, the bills continue the trend of transphobia which currently plagues the US.

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