Saturday, January 28, 2023

The Monday Memo from Equality Virginia

Editor’s Note:Every Monday, Equality Virginia emails the Monday Memo, which covers their lobbying and action efforts in the Virginia General Assembly. You can subscribe to the Monday Memo and other emails here.

Welcome to your first Monday Memo, a weekly legislative update on all things related to the 2023 General Assembly Session.

Recap Of Last Week

  • The General Assembly session kicked off last week, and LGBTQ+ rights are front and center with at least 11 anti-transgender bills, mostly targeting youth, introduced. Lawmakers have until January 20th to introduce bills.
  • Equality Virginia launched our 2023 Equity Agenda & Bill Tracker. You can stay up to date on all the bills we’re tracking, when they’re being heard, and ways to take action.
  • Here are the big ones on our radar-
    • Transgender Athlete Bans (EQVA strongly opposes all): These bills would ban trans athletes from playing on the school sports teams that align with their gender identity, effectively banning them from school sports entirely.
      • HB 1387 (Greenhalgh), HB 1399 (March), SB 911 (Cosgrove Jr), SB 962 (Peake), and SB 1186 (Reeves)
    • Gender-Affirming Care Bans (EQVA strongly opposes all): These bills attempt to ban gender-affirming healthcare for transgender and nonbinary youth. Healthcare decisions should always be made between trans youth themselves, their guardians, and their doctors.
      • SB 791 (Chase), SB 960 (Peake), SB 1203 (Reeves)
    • Court Ordered Name Change For Students (EQVA strongly opposes): This bill requires a trans student to obtain a “change of name” court order before school staff would be allowed to update the student’s name in their educational records. This presents an unnecessary barrier to transgender and nonbinary students who just want to be addressed correctly at school.
      • HB 1434 (Ballard)
    • Forced Outing (EQVA strongly opposes): This bill requires public school personnel to contact a student’s parent if they believe that the student’s self-identified gender does not align with their “biological sex”. This is a harmful practice known as “outing” that violates the student’s and their family’s privacy, and can have detrimental effects on that student’s safety.
      • HB 1707 (Durant)

What We’re Watching This Week

  • Bills in committee:
    • ​​​​​​​Monday January 16th in Senate Judiciary: SB 835 (Surovell; EQVA support)– modernizes Virginia state code by removing homosexuality from the definition of obscene sexual conduct; updates the criminal statute to be in line with a modern understanding of sexual behavior and eliminates historic stigma.
  • We’re keeping a close eye on anti-transgender legislation in the House and waiting for the bills to receive committee assignments. Several of these bills could receive subcommittee hearings as early as next week.

Take Action Now

  • Action Alert: Email your lawmaker and urge them to oppose legislation targeting transgender youth.
  • Sign up for our 2023 Lobby Days in February and help make a difference at the General Assembly in Richmond.

In Solidarity,

Narissa S. Rahaman (she/her)

Executive Director

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