Another bill we are watching closely is HB 5243, or the “Women’s Bill of Rights”. It is a bold and discriminatory step in the wrong direction for WV. Transgender West Virginians face serious discrimination in the state and the bill would further give a foothold to restrictive values by making wholly incorrect statements regarding gender, sex, and identity into law.
The stated purpose of this bill is to define “woman”, “man”, “female”, “male”, “mother”, and “father” in state code based solely on the sex listed on the individual’s birth certificate, while conveniently ignoring the biological existence of intersex individuals. In the unrest surrounding gender, assigned sex, and family values, this bill would further the culture war by removing the rights of many alternatively identifying West Virginians.
There was a public hearing on the bill early Thursday morning. The bill was set to be considered for amendments (2nd Reading) later in the day but lawmakers decided to wait until Friday, setting it up for a final vote in the House on Monday. Read more here about the “Women’s Bill of Rights” that contains no new rights for women.