A group of trans rights protesters march.

These Are the States Increasing Trans Protections

There's hope for trans Americans living in red states.

In light of the litany of anti-trans legislation in the United States, a list of pro-trans legislation seems like some much-needed good news.

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Four states have definitively stepped up to defend the rights of transgender Americans in direct response to the 12 states doing the opposite. Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, and Minnesota have passed legislation that will protect transgender rights in several different ways. These are not the only states taking action on the trans rights front, however. Other states and cities have made significant progress in providing sanctuary for those seeking gender-affirming care.

Colorado

Governor Jared Polis recently signed into law a bill that would establish Colorado as a definitive provider of gender-affirming care to out-of-state patients. The bill also provides that Colorado will not use its own resources to assist other states in the process of prosecuting people who receive gender-affirming care within its borders.

Maryland

Maryland has passed a piece of legislation, set to go into effect January 1, 2024, that would expand Medicaid coverage to include gender-affirming care. The expansion would synchronize the coverage offered by private insurance companies with what is available under Medicaid, giving lower-income individuals the opportunity to get the care they need. The expansion is anticipated to provide care to about 25% more Marlyanders than the previous available Medicaid options.

Michigan

Usually a swing state, Michigan has not made the leaps and bounds that other states have in advancing trans protections. However, it has slowly increased civil protections on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, which can have a big impact on the day-to-day lives of trans people. Republican legislators in the state have expressed both support and skepticism on the measure, with one representative arguing that the bill could discriminate against small businesses on religious grounds. Another Republican representative, however, stated that civil rights were always meant to include gay rights.

Minnesota

In the face of objections by Republican lawmakers, Minnesota has enacted bills similar to Colorado’s that would protect people coming in from out-of-state seeking gender-affirming care. Healthcare experts within the state have stated that gender-affirming care is not only a physical need but a mental health need as well. Arguments against the measure have emphasized that the rights of parents are being infringed upon if care is provided to minors, a common talking point on the topic for Republicans. However, legal protections in Minnesota are extended to families traveling into the state to get care for trans kids, and do not include allowances for trans kids to get care without parental consent.

(featured image: Matt Hrkac/Flickr)


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Scout (she/her/hers) is a freelance news writer for The Mary Sue. When not scrolling Twitter, she's thinking about scrolling Twitter. She likes short walks on the beach, glitter pens, and burnt coffee. She does not read the comments.