Washington (March 30, 2023) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) introduced the Transgender Bill of Rights, a landmark resolution to recognize the federal government’s duty in protecting and codifying the rights of transgender and nonbinary people, as well as to ensure trans people have access to medical care, shelter, safety, and economic security. The resolution creates a comprehensive framework for these protections to ensure that trans and nonbinary Americans are not discriminated against on the basis of gender identity or expression.
Trans and nonbinary people across the United States have
faced relentless and escalating attacks on their health, safety, and wellbeing.
Since January, state and federal legislators have proposed more than 450 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that
restrict health care, ban LGBTQ+ inclusive curricula in schools, exclude trans
youth from athletics, and otherwise endanger and harm trans people. These bills
are negatively affecting the mental health and physical safety of LGBTQ+ youth,
particularly trans youth who have been the primary target of these attacks. In
the United States, trans people are four
times more likely to face violent attacks than their cisgender peers
and more than 40
percent of trans people have attempted to commit suicide.
“On this and every International Transgender Day of Visibility, we are reminded of our moral obligation to defend the fundamental rights of trans people against the violence, discrimination and bigotry that too often mark their lived experience in our country,” said Senator Markey. “Lives are at stake. The health, safety and freedom of trans people are at stake. Congress must take a stand in the face of dangerous, transphobic attacks waged by far-right state legislatures and once again reaffirm our nation’s bedrock commitment to equality and justice for all.”
“Day after day, we see a constant onslaught of anti-trans
rhetoric and legislation coming from elected officials. Today we say enough is
enough,” said Representative Jayapal, Co-Chair of the Transgender
Equality Task Force. “Our Trans Bill of Rights says
clearly to the trans community across the country that we see you and we will
stand with you to ensure you are protected and given the dignity and respect
that every person should have. With this resolution, we salute the resilience
and courage of trans people across our country, and outline a clear vision of
what we must do in Congress in order to allow trans people to lead full, happy
lives as their authentic selves.”
Cosponsors in the Senate include Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.).
Cosponsors in the House include Representatives Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. (NC-12), Colin Allred (TX-32), Becca Balint (VT-AL), Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Rep. Shontel Brown (OH-11), Cori Bush (MO-01), Andre' Carson (IN-07), Troy A. Carter, Sr. (LA-02), Greg Casar (TX-35), Sean Casten (IL-06), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Judy Chu (CA-28), David Cicilline (RI-01), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), Jasmine Crockett (TX-30), Danny K. Davis (IL07), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-10), Lloyd Doggett (TX-37), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (CA-16), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Maxwell Alejandro Frost (FL-10), John Garamendi (CA-08), Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29), Robert Garcia (CA-42), Jesús G. "Chuy" García (IL-04), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Al Green (TX-09), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Brian Higgins (NY-26), Glenn Ivey (MD-04), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Sara Jacobs (CA-51), Henry C. ("Hank") Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), William R. Keating (MA-09), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Rick Larsen (WA-02), John B. Larson (CT-01), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03), Ted Lieu (CA-36), Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), Doris Matsui (CA-07), Jennifer L. McClellan (VA-04), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Morgan McGarvey (KY-03), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Grace Meng (NY-06), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Kevin Mullin (CA-15), Jerrold Nadler (NY-12), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-31), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-00), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Katie Porter (CA-47), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Deborah K. Ross (NC-02), Andrea Salinas (OR-06), Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Adam B. Schiff (CA-30), Adam Smith (WA-09), Melanie Stansbury (NM-01), Haley Stevens (MI-11), Mark Takano (CA39), Shri Thanedar (MI-13 ), Dina Titus (NV-01), Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), Jill Tokuda (HI-02), Paul D. Tonko (NY-20), Lori Trahan (MA-03), David Trone (MD-06), Juan Vargas (CA-52), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-25), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Nikema Williams (GA-05), and Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24).
Specifically, the Transgender Bill of Rights calls on the federal government to provide protections for transgender and nonbinary people by:
A copy of the resolution can be found HERE.
The Trans Bill of Rights is endorsed by Amnesty International USA, Athlete Ally, FORGE, Inc., Gender Justice League, GSBA, Human Rights Campaign, Indivisible, Japanese American Citizens League, Latino Community Fund of Washington State, Lavender Rights Project, LGBTQ Allyship, Movement Advancement Project (MAP), NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Education Association , National Immigrant Justice Center, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Women's Law Center, People’s Action, PFLAG National, QLaw Foundation of Washington, Seattle Indivisible, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), TransFamilies, Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, True Colors United, Washington Indivisible Podcast, Washington State LGBTQ Commission, and YouthCare.
Last September, Senator Markey sent a letter to the Biden administration to the lift barriers to testosterone and expand access to gender-affirming hormone therapy for transgender people, including transgender men and transmasculine nonbinary people. Last June, Senator Markey secured commitments from online companies Facebook, PayPal, Discover, Visa, and Instacart to his March inquiry with Representative Jayapal into their name-change policies that contributed to harmful deadnaming practices of referring to transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming users’ birth or legal name that they no longer use. In March 2021, Senator Markey and Representative Chris Pappas (NH-01) reintroduced the Gay and Trans Panic Defense Prohibition Act to ban the use of “gay panic” and “trans panic” defense in federal court.