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Republican Representatives introduce a vicious anti-trans bill in the Michigan State House

October 17, 2022

Last Tuesday, GOP legislators introduced HB 6454, a piece of legislation that is anti-trans and will criminalize those who in any way assist youth who are in the process of transitioning.

Natasha Lennard, writing for The Intercept, reports that HB 6454 is a cruel piece of legislation that will criminalize those who are supporting and assisting those involved in  gender-affirming care to a minor. Here is what Lennard wrote about the legal punishment people would potentially face:

The language applies not only to gender-affirming surgery — which is very rare for teens — but also to hormone treatments and puberty blockers. If found guilty, parents and medical professionals could face a maximum life sentence of 25 years for assisting a minor in obtaining care that has been deemed, again and again, medically necessary by every major pediatric institution in the country. Providing or helping with such treatment would be penalized as child abuse in the first degree, a classification more severe than those for causing intentional or neglectful harm to children. 

Beyond barring the provision of new treatment, the legislation also mandates that trans teens in the state who are currently receiving gender-affirming medical care would be forced to stop their treatments and undergo compulsory medical detransition, with potentially deadly psychological consequences.

HB 6454 was introduced on Tuesday, October 11 and sent to the Judiciary Committee on the same day. The bill was introduced by Rep. Ryan Berman, who represents the 39th House District. This reactionary piece of legislation is consistent with other bills that Ryan has introduced, such as HB 6306, which seeks to ban drag shows or drag presentations in K-12 schools.  When asked to give an example of drag shows taking place in K-12 Public Schools in Michigan, Berman had no concrete examples.

The co-sponsors that Rep. Berman recruited for HB 6454, are Representatives Steve Carra, Luke Meerman, Beau LaFave and Steve Marino. Last week, Rep. Carra tweeted, “Don’t let them castrate your boys and mutilate your girls without your parental consent.. and don’t consent to them doing it either!” 

Not to be outdone by his colleague, Rep. Beau LaFave also tweeted on his support for HB 6454, “The idea that we would be making potentially life-altering changes to 11-, 12-, 13-, 14-, 15-year-old kids when it is illegal for them to have sex is insane. I mean, they’re not ‘responsible enough’ to smoke a cigarette until they’re 21.”

When looking at this list of Republicans who want to punish trans youth and those that support them, it is always worth looking at who financially back them as State Representatives. Those who finance these politicians are equally complicit in these policies, specifically this transphobic piece of legislation.

Rep. Ryan Berman is self-financed, according to records since 2017, but other notable supporters are House Speaker Jason Wentworth, the Chatfield Fund, Rock Holdings Inc. and Realtors PAC of Michigan. 

Rep. Steve Carra has also received major campaign support from Jason Wentworth, the Michigan Laborers Political League and Michigan Realtors, according to TransparencyUSA.

Rep. Luke Meerman, according to records since 2017, has also benefited from Jason Wentworth, the Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan Realtors and a member of the Grand Rapids Power Structure, John Kennedy. 

Rep. Beau LaFave, has been bankrolled by the Chatfield Fund, Michigan Realtors, along with Blue Cross and Blue Shield, according to Transparency USA.

Rep. Steve Marino has self-financed, along with major support from the Chatfield Fund and the DeVos Family, according to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

Lastly, it is worth noting that in the article by Natasha Lennard mentioned earlier, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga, has introduced similar legislation at the federal level. 

  • Image used is from the Pride Foundation.
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