“The latest federal data on the well-being of American kids found LGBTQ students were much more likely to have experienced all forms of violence and worse mental health outcomes than straight youths.”

Columnist Maureen Downey’s column in the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Georgia’s targeting of LGBTQ kids worsens mental health woes,” shows the harmful impacts Senate Bill 140 would have if it becomes law.

The column addresses the Georgia Senate’s approval of Senate Bill 140, which would prohibit medical professionals from giving transgender children certain hormones or surgical treatment that assists them in aligning with their gender identity, as well the defeat of Georgia’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, Senate Bill 88. Downey correctly points out that SB 140 could be amended to include language from SB 88.

We know both of these bills would be harmful. Studies and data support that fact. Downey highlighted new data from the CDC suggesting schools should be more open to talking with LGBTQ students, not less. Just as important as data are the voices of LGTBQ+ youth being impacted by the decisions of the lawmakers, many of whom have shown a lack of empathy toward this entire community. Downey shines the spotlight on a gay college student from Fulton County who is rightfully concerned about elected officials’ veiled suggestions there is something inherently wrong with being LGBTQ+.

More on SB 140:

Senate Bill Banning Gender-Affirming Care Will Harm Transgender Youth

ACLU of Georgia First Amendment Policy Advocate Sarah Hunt-Blackwell on SB 140

Crossover Day: Watching The Bills That Impact Constitutional Rights

Lawmakers Introducing Slew of Bills That Are Harmful to LGBTQ+ Youth

ACLU of Georgia’s Advocacy This Week at the Capitol: Fighting Against SB 88