South Carolina advocacy groups are showing out in opposition to a ban on gender-affirming medical care for minors as it moves through the state Legislature. About five dozen opponents rallied outside the South Carolina State House Wednesday as a Senate subcommittee advanced a ban on gender-transition surgeries, hormone therapy and puberty blockers for people under the age of 18. The vote joins South Carolina with a broader effort in Republican-dominated legislatures across the country. At least 10 states have enacted laws restricting or banning gender-affirming care for minors. Republican state Sen. Josh Kimbrell says children need to be protected from "whims." Transgender youth and their parents say the treatment can be life-saving.
A bill in Kansas and similar legislation in at least seven other states have LGBTQ-rights advocates worrying about a sweeping Republican-led effort to erase the legal existence of transgender men and women. A Kansas Senate committee could vote next week on a measure that would define what it means to be male and female in state law, basing people's legal gender identities on their anatomy at birth. Critics say such measures could prevent transgender people from changing their driver's licenses and birth certificates so that they match their gender identities. Those behind the bills say they're responding to parents and others who are uncomfortable with "biological men" or "biological boys" sharing spaces meant for women and girls.