A group of 40 businesses have signed onto a letter urging states to abandoned legislation like Alabama’s bills that would ban gender therapies for minors.
“Here in Alabama, our battle has centered on House Bill 303 and Senate Bill 219. These bills would deny transgender youth access to medically necessary care by criminalizing the act of a medical professional providing that care, intensifying the challenges already facing these youth,” said Carmarion Anderson, Alabama State Director for the Human Rights Campaign, in a call with reporters Wednesday. “These bills fly in the face of best-practice standards of care, which allow transgender youth to consult with their parents and their doctor about an individualized care plan that is necessary and appropriate for them.”
If passed, Alabama’s bills in the House and Senate would make it a class C felony for a physician to performing surgery or prescribe medicine intended to delay the onset of puberty to minors.
Alabama Sen. Shay Shelnutt, R-Trussville, the lead sponsor of the legislation said during a debate on the Senate floor that kids are not fully developed until later in life.
“I think we can all agree that kids aren’t capable of making certain decisions until certain ages, and so we want to just stop these procedures from happening in Alabama,” Shelnutt said.
Anderson said that all transgender people, but especially transgender kids, deserve to be able to live their lives in a safe environment, to be able to be supported by the people who love them and to get the health care that they need.
Dan Eggers, an 18-year-old transgendered person from Alabama told reporters on the call Wednesday that he’s just like so many others in Alabama.
“I play soccer with my friends during lunch. Stress over calculus tests. I’m ecstatic to start college in the fall, and I like many Alabamians, I am transgender,” Eggers said. “ I am immensely privileged in that I was accepted by my amazing mother, but so many are not so lucky.”
Eggers said bills like Alabama’s House Bill 303 and Senate Bill 2019 deny parents the ability to support their children.
“Studies have shown that mental health, depression rates, self esteem, and overall life satisfaction improve for trans kids who have their parents support,’ Eggers said. “My mom watched me suffer for 16 years, and after I finally told her what the problem had been all along we were finally able to find something that could help. Denying me and children like me treatment would be criminal.”
Among the 40 businesses who signed on to the letter call for lawmaker to oppose such legislation are AT&T, Capital One, Dow Inc., Google, Hilton, Microsoft, Salesforce, IBM and Paypal.
“We are deeply concerned by the bills being introduced in state houses across the country that single out LGBTQ individuals – many specifically targeting transgender youth – for exclusion or differential treatment,” the letter reads.
“These bills would harm our team members and their families, stripping them of opportunities and making them feel unwelcome and at risk in their own communities. As such, it can be exceedingly difficult for us to recruit the most qualified candidates for jobs in states that pursue such laws, and these measures would place a substantial burden on the families of our employees who already reside in these states. Legislation promoting discrimination directly affects our businesses, whether or not it occurs in the workplace,” the letter continues.