In the past two years, Republican-led states have tried to find ways to limit the impact of the transgender rights movement, passing laws regulating areas from sports to education.
The lion's share of such laws have focused on children, offering protections for gender-based sports programs and the separation of bathrooms and locker rooms by biological sex. In addition, as many as 22 states have passed laws banning the use of gender transition surgeries, cross-sex hormones, and related practices on children claiming transgender identity.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT lobby, those protections cover only 35.1% of U.S. teenagers aged 13 to 17.
Some of the laws already in place have attracted lawsuits, with some advancing to the stage of petitioning the Supreme Court for a hearing. Many of those cases could present a challenge to the high court's 2020 ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, which included transgender identity in the list of statuses protected by employment law. However, the Supreme Court has so far rejected each petition for certiorari, including in cases out of Missouri, West Virginia, and Virginia.
While some of those laws are stuck in litigation, which will also play out in 2024, lawmakers in some states are eyeing new ways to limit the transgender movement legally, medically, and politically, including for adults.
"There's an all-out war," American Principles Project president Terry Schilling told the Washington Examiner.
"There is a culture war, but it's not been from the right, the culture war has been from the left 100%. Finally, the right is waking up and recognizing this for the threat that it is — and it's just one part of the culture war, it's not everything, but it's a big part."Case: A South Carolina bill introduced last week would require that children attending K-12 public schools in the Palmetto State learn that sex is an immutable characteristic and cannot be changed.