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New ‘Georgia Women’s Bill of Rights’ guts protections for trans women, eliminates gender identity

Atlanta Georgia LGBTQ Women Marching Rainbow Flag Crosswalk Protest Signs No Pride Without Justice For All

The proposed bill mirrors recent legislation across the country targeting the trans community.

A proposed bill in the Georgia legislature would strip protections based on sexual and gender identity, define gender for the purposes of the bill as a person’s sex assigned at birth, and base access to public areas like locker rooms and bathrooms upon that.

The proposed bill H.B. 1128 is entitled the Georgia Women’s Bill of Rights, and it targets the transgender community by removing all references to gender and gender identity from the bill, denying the trans community basic protections from bias crimes, the use of certain public facilities, and other legal protections.

The bill defines sex as “the biological state of being male or female in the context of reproductive potential or capacity." It goes on to base this determination “on the individual’s sex organs, chromosomes, naturally occurring sex hormones, gonads, and unambiguous internal and external genitalia present at birth, including secondary sex characteristics.”

The bill also states that “in no case is an individual’s sex determined by stipulation or self-identification.”

The bill further removes sexual orientation and gender as criteria for biased crime and sentencing enhancements and removes gender from reporting requirements.

H.B. 1128 was sponsored by a group of six Republicans including five women: Rep. Jodi Lott, Rep. Leesa Hagan, Rep. Kimberly New, Rep. Penny Houston, Rep. Bethany Ballard, and Rep. Alan Powell.

Critics quickly pointed out the danger of removing protection for the LGBTQ+ community in general and the trans community specifically.

Related: Trans people continue to be murdered at extreme rates as Republicans push transphobic laws

The bill mirrors recent legislation in Florida and elsewhere that removes protections for the LGBTQ+ communities and penalizes the mentions of gender identity.

In November, the Human Rights Campaign released a report detailing the tens of transgender and gender nonconforming were killed in the previous year, many of whom were killed because of their identity.

“The epidemic of violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people is a national tragedy and a national embarrassment,” said Kelly Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign, at the time. “Each of the lives taken is the result of a society that demeans and devalues anyone who dares challenge the gender binary. In statehouses across the nation, we’ve seen bills signed into law that ban gender-affirming healthcare, make schools unsafe for LGBTQ+ youth, and ban transgender and non-binary people from public bathrooms.”

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