In Pennsylvania, 74% of transgender or gender non-conforming students report experiencing harassment at school. Twenty-three percent report having been a victim of physical assault, and almost 1 in 10 report experiencing sexual violence.
Discrimination doesn’t end at the end of the school day, or after graduation. According to EqualityPA, transgender people experience poverty at higher rates than the general population, are routinely harassed in public spaces, and often refused medical care. Transgender women of color are disproportionately subjected to violence.
Yet, despite these facts, the president reversed his campaign trail position and revoked a landmark guideline that advised schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.
This announcement was made on the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference. It is unconscionable for the president to endanger the health and lives of vulnerable Americans simply to appease a subset of political supporters who do not represent the views of most Americans.
While insufficient, formal protections for transgender people do exist in Pennsylvania. State employees are protected from discrimination via a 2003 executive order. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have trans-inclusive anti-discrimination laws, as do 36 municipalities across the state.
Under the regressive federal agenda, local and state protections are more important than ever. The Women’s Law Project will continue to fight to protect all LGBTQ Pennsylvanians, including our continued support for statewide protections through the Pennsylvania Fairness Act.
The Women’s Law Project is the only public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.
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