(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Patty Murray (D.-Wash.)--who chairs the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee--stood up on the Senate floor on March 16 and criticized the law that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would soon sign preventing teachers from discussing transgenderism and sexual orientation with children in kindergarten through third grade and the policy of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott that calls on people to report incidents of children being subjected to gender transition treatments, which are not legal under Texas law.
“I come to the floor today to speak out against the recent wave of hate attacks on transgender youth happening across our country,” Murray said.
“Over the last few months, we have seen extreme Republican lawmakers take unprecedented steps to go after trans children and their families,” she said.
“Not only are they spewing hateful rhetoric around gender identity--making something personal and something a lot of Americans probably don't think about every day into a cruel political cudgel--but they are also using their political power and legal authority to target trans people, and trans kids, in particular,” said Murray.
Here is the full transcript of the speech that Sen. Murray gave on the Senate floor on March 16:
Sen. Patty Murray (D.-Wash.): “Mr. President, I come to the floor today to speak out against the recent wave of hate attacks on transgender youth happening across our country.
“Over the last few months, we have seen extreme Republican lawmakers take unprecedented steps to go after trans children and their families. Not only are they spewing hateful rhetoric around gender identity--making something personal and something a lot of Americans probably don't think about every day into a cruel political cudgel--but they are also using their political power and legal authority to target trans people, and trans kids, in particular.
“Last month, Texas Governor Greg Abbott made the decision to actively investigate and target parents of transgender kids and providers, making the totally false claim that gender-affirming care is child abuse. In Idaho, just across the border from my home State of Washington, lawmakers got dangerously close to passing legislation that would criminalize providers for giving kids the gender-affirming care they need. In Florida, there is a bill headed to the governor's desk which aims to erase gay and trans kids, parents, and teachers from our schools by banning any discussion about gender identity or sexual
“While Democrats have been focused on getting our schools back open and helping students catch up after 2 really tough years, Republicans are targeting trans kids and gay students and taking incredibly important and personal decisions away from parents and families.
“Right now, it feels like far-right lawmakers are in a race to legislate the most extreme, most hateful bill they can think of, at the expense of trans kids. We all have a responsibility to stand up and make clear this is not right. Trans people are our friends; they are our neighbors; they are our families. Trans kids deserve to be just kids—to play sports, to go to school, to see a doctor, or to get healthcare. They should be able to get the same opportunities as any other child, to learn and grow and play and thrive free from fear and discrimination. And parents deserve to be able to make their own parenting decisions with their medical providers to do what is best for their kids' health. They should not have to worry about what a rightwing politician thinks is best for their kids.
“And they definitely shouldn't live in fear that a state legislature is going to intervene in their parenting decisions and hurt their child.
“So we have to push back against these attacks on trans kids in every way that we can--in the courts, with legislation, through Executive action, and by speaking out and speaking up because I can tell you, having just talked to my constituents in Washington State, the hurt and fear the Governor of Texas has caused is not staying in Texas.
“What Greg Abbott said about trans kids has an effect on many States. I wish it didn't, but the truth is: All of those measures are not only really scary for trans families across the country, but they also embolden more hateful rhetoric and even violence against trans people; and it is harming trans kids' mental health no matter where they live.
“We have to be louder than Greg Abbott or whoever is taking aim at trans kids. We have to push for legislation like the Equality Act that would send a powerful message of support and fairness for trans and gay Americans. And we have to stand up for a future without this hateful hate, harm, and division that we are seeing and with a lot more
compassion for each other. It is not too much to ask.”