Saturday, July 2, 2022

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The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.

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SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.

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From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

On National Day of Silence, MO Groups Push Back Against Anti-Trans Bills

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Friday, April 22, 2022   

Silence? Yes. Inaction? No. Today marks the annual Day of Silence, led by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, to raise awareness about the discrimination and harassment LGBTQ+ students face in schools.

Hundreds of anti-trans bills have been introduced across the nation in 2022 alone, including in Missouri.

Katy Erker-Lynch, executive director of PROMO Missouri, noted one bill the Legislature is considering would prohibit gender-affirming health care for trans children, and another would ban transgender girls from participating in girls' sports.

"It's not really about saving women's sports," Erker-Lynch asserted. "It's about discrimination. So it's really, 'OK, can we ban kids from athletics? Can we ban kids from health care?' And the question that really begs, is whether LGBTQ+ people should be treated fairly across all areas of life."

Last week, the Missouri House advanced the school sports bill by including it in a separate bill on how elections are run. Missouri is also among the states introducing legislation similar to Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill, which prohibits including topics around gender identity and sexual orientation in school curricula.

In addition to being discriminatory, Erker-Lynch added the health care bill represents a gross misunderstanding about what gender-affirming care really is. According to psychologists and pediatricians, it starts with mental health care, and can include treatments like puberty- or hormone-blockers.

But despite language in the bill regarding surgeries for minors, it's not the care trans kids get, experts maintained. Whether to undergo a gender confirmation surgery is a decision they make as adults.

"The fact of the matter is denying best practice medical care and support to transgender youth can be life-threatening," Erker-Lynch asserted. "Politicians are playing a really dangerous game with the health care and mental wellness of trans youth."

She pointed to studies showing this type of care saves lives. Trans and nonbinary youth experience anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation at far higher rates than their cisgender peers.


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