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Transgender Louisianans defeat sports ban!

By Staff |
July 21, 2021
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 Toni Jones speaks at Capitol after protesters disrupted legislative session.
Toni Jones speaks at Capitol after protesters disrupted legislative session. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Fight Back! News Service is circulating the following statement by Real Name Campaign NOLA.


Thanks to the work of Louisiana organizers, and every Louisianian who pressured their lawmakers to vote against transphobia, the governor’s veto of the trans sports ban (Senate Bill 156) has been sustained during this unprecedented special legislative session. The evangelical right failed to push its national anti-trans culture war in Louisiana. The people’s movement made this victory happen. Many Democratic legislators wanted this bill to pass at first, but voted against it only after seeing enormous community opposition. 


An organizer with the Real Name Campaign, Mar Ehrlich (they/them), reflects that “we began fighting against the four anti-trans bills back in March, alongside trans advocates around the state. After 5 months of hard, collaborative work we have seen every one of these egregious bills fail, and we have witnessed trans rights become a major topic across Louisiana. But it was very close with SB 156, and the protest yesterday and the groundswell of public support around our demand to protect trans kids was the final and very necessary dose of pressure on legislators to do the right thing - to keep the government’s hands off trans kids.”


Real Name Campaign hopes this victory assures all trans and gender nonconforming youth that we were never a problem that needed to be fixed, and that we are important, loved, and belong in every aspect of education and public life.


The Capitol still needs accountability. Yesterday, Capitol security treated members of Real Name Campaign NOLA with unnecessary, unprecedented brutality. Seconds after we began protesting against SB 156 on the balcony of the Louisiana House floor, officers cruelly and viciously assaulted not only protestors, but our police liaison and media support, without any verbal warning of arrest or otherwise, and even after we expressed our willingness to cooperate. This violence was a reflection of the violence against all trans and gender nonconforming people being carried out on the house and senate floor below. 


We support the ACLU’s demand for a full investigation of Louisiana Capitol security.


As of now, House Sergeant at Arms Clarence Russ has declined to comment on the incident. His office can be reached at 225-342-1228 or [email protected] 


We further demand that legislators cease authoring or supporting any anti-trans bills, amendments, policies, and practices. We also demand that legislators consult with us and other transgender and gender non-conforming community leaders on all future bills that would impact our rights.


About Real Name Campaign NOLA: Real Name Campaign is comprised of trans and gender non-conforming residents of the Greater New Orleans community. We organize for the rights and equitable treatment of trans and gender non-conforming people in the city and state. We are actively fighting for accessible name and gender marker changes, including the abolishment of all fees and restrictions to accessing correct IDs.