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Local News

Report: NV fares well with transgender rights

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Alex Gonzalez, Public News Service

Ninety-three percent of transgender teens live in a state that has enacted or proposed legislation that would restrict their rights – according to a new report from the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles’s School of Law.

The report looked at six types of laws and policies from this year’s legislative session.

Williams Institute Federal Policy Director Elana Redfield is one of the report’s authors, and said the Silver State is ahead of many others when it comes to transgender rights and protections.

“Nevada is the only state that has a constitutional protection against discrimination, on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Redfield. “There is an extraordinarily broad protection for LGBTQ people in Nevada, and that is probably why Nevada didn’t show up on any of our lists this year.”

But Redfield said attempts to limit or ban gender-affirming care for trans-children continue to increase nationwide.

Some in Nevada want to revisit Senate Bill 302, otherwise known as a shield law, which would protect providers of gender-affirming care to minors from legal prosecution by states where such care has been prohibited.

While the measure was vetoed by Gov. Joe Lombardo last year, he did pass other legislation which prevents insurance companies from discriminating against trans people.

Eighty-six percent of transgender and nonbinary youths say debates around anti-trans bills have negatively impacted their mental health, according to The Trevor Project.

Redfield said that despite many state efforts to pass anti-transgender legislation have failed nationwide, that doesn’t mean the secondary effects are less harmful.

But she said neighboring states, like Arizona – which have enacted or proposed anti-transgender laws – has been inspirational in unique ways.

“We see a lot of power in state governments, and we see this kind of inspiring example from reproductive rights,” said Redfield. “Arizona is a great example of people power and access to reproductive care – but also Kansas, when you see that the attempts to ban gender-affirming care have not been successful, and also attempts to ban abortion have not been successful in Kansas.”

Redfield said it is important to highlight that half of all transgender youths in the U.S. live in 14 states and the District of Columbia that have enacted “shield” laws, which protect doctors and parents who have sought gender-affirming care for trans youth.

She added that almost 200,000 trans-teens now live in states that have banned conversion therapy, one of which is Nevada.

This article originally appeared on Public News Service and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.