The fight for trans rights is here (and we can win!)

Anti-LGBTQ hate groups are using state legislatures to attack trans children and codify discrimination against transgender youth. When it comes to these attacks, we no longer have the luxury of time. How we respond in the next six months will have a deep, lasting effect on the future of transgender rights. 

Everyone deserves to feel safe and supported in their community. But in recent years, far-right conservative and religious groups have been coordinating on new lines of attack in their long-standing campaign against LGBTQ equality, and transgender rights in particular. Groups like the Heritage Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom and others, have all played a part in advancing anti-LGBTQ lawsuits and legislation in states across the country.

In March, 2020, the governor of Idaho became the first to sign into law a ban on transgender women and girls from competing in girls’ sports leagues. Here in Minnesota, the athletic organization USA Powerlifting announced a blanket ban on all transgender athletes in 2019. Since then, dozens of bills have been filed in states across the country – including Minnesota’s SF 96 – targeting the ability of transgender youth to participate in sports, get the health care they need, or receive fair treatment in any number of public settings. 

These attacks haven’t stopped, and neither will we. With your support, Gender Justice will continue to take every opportunity to speak out, educate and build public support, and pursue cases that not only protect but also expand protections for LGBTQ rights under the law. 


We need to get ahead of these attacks before irreparable harm is made. To give now, click here.

Legislative, political, and legal attacks against the transgender community have surged in recent years – with opponents deploying arguments around “religious freedom” as a license to discriminate, wielding reductive distortions based on junk science, and exploiting the lack of research and education within federal and state courts systems to curb access to health care, public participation, education, and opportunity. 

Gender Justice is taking a strategic, multi-pronged approach to fight against this discrimination and protect the rights of transgender people. This includes:

  1. Bringing cutting edge impact litigation cases to protect and expand transgender rights within our state laws and drive a public conversation lifting up equity and inclusion over division and hate. 
  2. Educating state and national partners, institutional leaders, and lawmakers around this issue so that they are confident and equipped to forcefully speak out on behalf of transgender rights and liberation. 
  3. Drive the public conversation with values-based messages centering inclusion, fairness, and countering misleading and inflammatory rhetoric used to stigmatize trans people. We are bold and proactive in shaping media coverage of these issues, and we plan to scale up our efforts to engage community members directly so they can confidently engage in personal and public discourse about sports, fairness, and inclusion of transgender athletes.


We know from experience that these are winning strategies. Gender Justice has a reputation for leading the fight for transgender rights and being a “first mover” in pursuing innovative litigation to protect and expand trans rights. 

In 2015, we secured a first-in-the-nation decision by a federal court in Minnesota affirming that Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act does indeed protect the rights of transgender people to access health care without discrimination. Last year, we won a MN Court of Appeals decision affirming that discrimination against transgender students, including regarding locker room access for student athletes, is illegal under MN’s Human Rights Act. 

Our efforts have led to changes in how care providers and insurance treat transgender patients, and forced new measures of accountability on schools to ensure equal education to all students. 

And right now, we’re proudly representing transgender powerlifter and advocate JayCee Cooper, who was denied the opportunity to compete when USA Powerlifting instituted a blanket ban on transgender athletes. 


Join Us

We know what needs to be done now – but we need your help.

Help us reach our $40,000 goal to support this urgent work. Please make a gift and partner with us to reach others who care about this work. We must get ahead of these harmful laws and divisive narratives before they can fully take hold and cause irreparable harm. 

With your support, we can meet the needs of this pivotal moment by increasing our capacity to reach more people, institutions, and leaders. Your dollars will be put to work immediately and will support the hiring of a new Advocacy and Engagement Manager who will organize across policy and community education efforts to not only respond to this issue, but fully get ahead of it before it gets too far. Thank you!

10 Years of Change

Our organization has celebrated some big wins over the years and we continue to grow in the ways we harness strategic impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and education to push the law forward when it comes to gender equality. Check out what we’ve accomplished, together.

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