Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Republicans Are Now Going after Gender Transitions for Adults

Republicans are going to make their opposition to gender-affirming surgery for minors a major campaign issue in 2024. They are going to argue that 13-year-olds cannot be trusted to make such monumental decisions about their future, so such decisions should be postponed until they are adults. Then they can make a rational decision. The political position might work, as some voters definitely don't think children should be making such life-altering decisions. So, it could win some votes.

But now the cat is out of the bag. Many Republican politicians don't want adults to transition either. They are against gender-affirming surgery at any age. They do not like it Sam-I-am. The bit about minors is just chaff being thrown up to distract everyone. Numerous presidential candidates have now come out saying that they want to ban federal money from being used for transition surgery at any age. These include Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, and even Asa Hutchinson. They want a new Hyde Amendment that bans using federal funds for gender-reassignment surgery, just as the original Hyde Amendment bans using federal funds for abortion. Of course, they'll have to come up with a new name for it, since Henry Hyde has been dead for 16 years. Boebert Amendment?

It isn't just presidential candidates. The Defense Appropriations bill that just narrowly cleared the House would ban the Pentagon from paying for gender-related treatments for members of the armed forces, even though the government pays for all other medical care for active-duty military, as well as for veterans. The number of soldiers who want such treatment is microscopic, so the amount of money saved is tiny, but Republicans just want to make trans people go away. Snap! You're gone. They clearly are betting this will be a winning issue at the ballot box. Our guess is that the effect might not be so big. The sizable LGBTQ population and their sympathizers will be voting for Democrats and the people who will cheer this on are already voting Republican. Those college-educated suburban women the Republicans are lusting after are much less likely to be on board. They have been there before (on the abortion issue) and are smart enough to realize that allowing the government to tell people what they can and cannot do with their own bodies is definitely a slippery slope they don't want to start going down. (V)

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