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'Racy' North Dakota Ad Sparks Controversy

'Racy' North Dakota Ad Sparks Controversy

An advertisement for tourism in North Dakota was deemed too sleazy by some

North Dakota's travel agency has gotten a bit more press than expected, courtesy of an ad focusing on the state's nightlife.

The advertisement, which has been pulled but can be seen here, featured two men and three women smiling at each other through a bar window. The ad copy said, "Drinks, dinner, decisions," with the tagline, "Arrive a guest. Leave a legend."

Since the ad's premiere, some commenters have called it "sickening," because the ad implied various scenarios in between arriving as a guest and leaving as a legend. The agency that created the ad said it was meant to be "a little flirty, a little fun," but not at all salacious.

North Dakota's tourism agency pulled the ad from the web site and Facebook page, but it is still available for viewing over at ABC, along with other ads using the same guest/legend tagline. The others featured activities like hiking, shown on the right.

If you're up for a debate, the conversation is still alive and well on Travel ND's Facebook wall, with one commenter writing, "It could have been about anything. Folks accusing you of putting in a racy ad need to keep THEIR heads out of the gutter."

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.


'Racy' North Dakota Ad Sparks Controversy - Recipes

From The New York Times, I’m Michael Barbaro. This is The Daily.

Just four months into 2021, Republican state lawmakers across the country have already proposed more bills restricting the lives of transgender youth than in any previous year. Today, Sabrina Tavernise spoke with our colleague, Dan Levin, about what’s behind these bills and the impact they could have on the children and families that they target.

So, Dan, can you start by telling us what are these bills we’ve been seeing around the country?

So, the big national picture is, since January, in often Republican-controlled legislatures in over 30 states, lawmakers have introduced more than 80 bills that focus on the rights of transgender youth. And these bills kind of fall into two main baskets. The first focus is on trans youth in sports. And the other big basket of bills is around transgender medical care.

So, Dan, let’s start with the first basket. Tell me about the sports bills.

So these bills have been introduced in states from Texas to Florida to West Virginia, Kansas, and Missouri. And the major focus of these transgender sports bills is that they aim to prevent transgender athletes, and really, in most of these cases, transgender women and girls from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity.

So let me make sure I understand this. This would bar a girl who was called male at birth from playing on a female soccer team.

Exactly. These bills would ban transgender girls on a high school soccer team or a middle school soccer team or in a college team from playing on women’s teams.

And what is the argument lawmakers are making for this?

This is about equality. It’s also about a chaos that’s permeating our country.

The main argument of proponents of these bills is that they’re all about ensuring fair competition in sports.

I’ve got daughters and granddaughters who compete in sports. And I know that if they had a situation where they were faced with competing against a biological male, what would be the point?

They say that women and girls might be physically outmatched by transgender women and girls.

This important piece of legislation will ensure that young girls in Mississippi have a fair level playing field in public school sports.

And so the government needs to proactively step in and protect women and girls in sports.

And I also believe that it’s discrimination for women to not pass this.

Dan, is there any truth to the argument that trans women have certain advantages in sports? Tell me about that.

So this is a highly debated question. And there isn’t enough research done on transgender athletes to say definitively. But what we do know is that the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that kids should play on sports teams that match their gender identity. And sports associations like the N.C.A.A. and the International Olympic Committee already have policies in place to really ensure that athletics can be inclusive of transgender women, while also ensuring fair competition.

Many school athletics associations are saying this is not really an issue. And they have come out against these bills, saying they are based on stereotypes and are actually not really needed. And trans advocates also say that these bills are incredibly invasive in that many of them would allow anyone to contest a student athlete’s gender. And that student would then be required to undergo, say, a genital exam, other kind of testing that would just be incredibly stigmatizing and invasive.

Wow. How often does this question of transgender athletes playing on sports teams even come up, Dan? Are there a lot of schools encountering this?

There really aren’t. Transgender youth make up less than 2 percent of the population, according to recent estimates. And trans athletes are even fewer. Last month, the Associated Press reached out to sponsors of these anti-trans sports bills in more than 20 states. And many of these sponsors could not cite a single instance in their state or their region where the participation of transgender athletes has caused problems.

Dan, you also mentioned a second set of bills that were related to healthcare. What do those bills do?

So at the same time as we’re seeing these transgender sports bills, legislators in 21 states have introduced bills focused on banning medical care for youth who experience gender dysphoria. And that’s the medical diagnosis for when a person’s gender identity is different from the sex that’s listed on their birth certificates. Some bills, for example, criminalize doctors who provide what trans advocates call gender affirming care to minors. So these are treatments like puberty blockers or hormone therapy.

Dan, can you explain what those treatments are?

Yeah, puberty blockers are exactly what they sound like. So these are medications that temporarily suppress puberty. And the point is to give these kids more time to essentially decide if they want to move forward with a medical transition. And so, these medications will halt the body from, say, developing breasts or facial hair or a deepening voice or menstruating.

So kind of like a pause button.

Exactly. Now, hormone therapies are the next step. If an adolescent wants to continue with their medical transition, they will start taking hormones like estrogen or testosterone. And this type of treatment is a more serious decision, which is why medical guidelines actually recommend that they’re generally not prescribed until the age of 16. Many of these bills also make it illegal for doctors to perform gender affirming surgeries on anyone under the age of 18. But this part is kind of a red herring, because these surgeries are not really done on people under 18.

OK, we’re going to move on to HB 1570. Representative Lundstrom, you are recognized to present your bill.

All of these issues were recently debated in Little Rock, Arkansas, when the state legislature debated its bill.

I want to protect children. And this bill simply states that anyone under 18 in Arkansas is to be protected.

Proponents are saying this bill is needed to protect kids.

Interfering with puberty will always have an impact. You can’t pause normal development without lifetime ramifications.

That these treatments, like puberty blockers and hormone therapies, are experimental and irreversible.

You have to be 18 years of age in this state to get a tattoo without your parents’ permission. You have to be 21 to buy alcohol. To allow children to undergo these types of decisions at such an early age is a mistake.

And that children are too young to make these kinds of decisions before they turn 18.

And it’s my understanding there’s no gender reassignment surgery done on youth in Arkansas anyway. Is that true? No, there is not any surgery done on youth in Arkansas. I’m thankful for that. And hopefully this will draw that line in the sand.

Then, with banning surgery for trans kids, even the sponsor of the bill acknowledged that it never happens.

I mean, are we a solution looking for a problem? No, I don’t think so at all. And I think we need to stop it before it starts. We should never have penises amputated or breasts amputated on children ever.

Dan, who are the people testifying in support of the bill?

Well, in Arkansas, there were two separate hearings of this bill. And in total, six people testified in favor of it. They included someone from the Family Research Council, which is a conservative religious group. There were also a few child psychologists, an anesthesiologist, and an internist. But for some of these experts, it became clear that their experience with these issues was limited.

I have a question for the two doctors. How many patients have you all actually treated with gender dysphoria? In my adolescent medicine practice, it was in the late 1970s. And since I have been primarily doing anesthesia for the last 20 to 30 years, I have not taken care of those patients. So the answer is zero? You’ve never treated a child with gender dysphoria? To be honest, I had enough different patients in my private office. I cannot tell you whether I did or didn’t.

What about the people who spoke out against the bill? Who were they, and what were their arguments?

On the other side, there were over 20 people who spoke out against the legislation. They included several doctors and clinicians who have lots of experience treating kids with gender dysphoria.

There are, ma’am, multiple published standards of care for the treatment of these children. There are multiple guidelines for the treatment of these children.

And they pointed out that most of the studies cited by proponents of the bill have either been debunked or had flawed methodology. In fact, most major medical associations say these treatments are completely safe and recommend them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, not to mention dozens of European pediatric and adult published guidelines, and we follow those guidelines to the letter, because we care about these children and we want to keep them alive and healthy, not just in childhood, but after 18 as well.

And in the case of puberty blockers, there’s a lot of research that has found that the effects are reversible if treatment is suspended.

We’ve been using puberty blockers for 50 years. And there’s copious, copious numbers of publications showing that the use of puberty blockers in very young children for lengths of time of up to and over 10 years is safe.

What else do the people testifying against the bill say?

They also pointed out that these children aren’t making decisions to undergo treatment on their own. These decisions are always made in tandem with parents and doctors over a long period of time.

Teens don’t get to decide if they start cross sex hormones under 18. It is a team approach. For the teens that I know, it’s at least a six-month collaborative process to evaluate if medical intervention would be beneficial before they start medicines.

These kids are getting therapy. They’re getting medically tested to make sure that they’re healthy. And beyond these arguments, they say the bigger concern here is how this bill, if it becomes law, will affect trans youths’ mental health.

I’m doing everything I can to maintain my sanity here. I’ve had multiple children— do you know how many phone calls I’ve had to field in the last week of children calling me, saying, Dr. Hutchison, if this happens, I’m going to kill myself. Multiple.

Studies have shown that trans youth have a disproportionately high rate of attempted suicide, anywhere between 30 percent and 50 percent.

Yeah, but what studies also show is that transgender youth who are supported by their families in their transitions experience notably lower rates of depression. And transgender people who were treated with puberty suppressants during adolescence had lowered lifetime risks of suicide as adults. And so trans advocates and doctors, like the ones in Arkansas, are saying this kind of medical treatment is lifesaving and necessary.

So I guarantee you, if this bill passes, children will die. And I will call you guys every single time one does. All right, thank you for your testimony.

So, Dan, it sounds like trans youth are a very, very small proportion of the population. And trans athletes are an even smaller proportion of the population. And the medical treatments we’re talking about here seem to help, not hurt. So I guess, I’m kind of wondering, what is the point of these bills? And why are we seeing so many of them right now?

Well, I think the short answer is politics. These bills and their focus on transgender youth are, in many ways, part of a much larger strategy on the part of the conservative right and are just the latest battle in a very long history of culture wars.

Dan, how did we get here? You mentioned history earlier.

So the place to start is really in the 1970s when the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that abortion was legal. That Supreme Court decision really kind of kickstarted what we have come to think of as the modern era of culture wars. And then, in the ‘90s and early 2000s, same sex marriage became the central issue in the culture wars. And in both of these battles, gender and sexuality were used as a wedge issue pretty much by Republicans and social conservatives to animate their base. So what we’re seeing now is that transgender rights have really taken center stage when it comes to these kind of culture clashes.

So Dan, what was the opening bell of this next culture war battle?

So I would say the first major clash happened in 2016—

The political and social struggle over bathrooms and gender blew up today. The spark came—

—when North Carolina was thrust into the epicenter of the nation’s culture wars after the Republican-controlled legislature passed this bill that would bar transgender people from using public bathrooms that did not correspond with the gender on their birth certificate.

North Carolina passed a bill requiring transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex listed on their birth certificate.

And that bill also made it illegal for municipalities to adopt anti-discrimination policies intended to protect LGBT people.

Dan, what was the argument at the time?

Well, joining us now first on CNBC, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest. Mr. Forest, good morning.

Republican lawmakers who were supporting these bathroom bills were saying that they were needed to protect women and girls from predatory men.

Governments’ first and foremost priority is the protection of its citizens, and especially the protection of women and children. And that’s all—

And that this was vital for protecting traditional values. But ultimately, it backfired. And so when North Carolina passed those measures, the law drew nationwide outrage.

I am not defined by the gender on my birth certificate. I am defined by myself.

And unleashed severe economic consequences for North Carolina.

PayPal says it is now cancelling plans to bring more than 400 jobs with its new operation center.

You had major companies like PayPal cancelling expansions in the state.

Breaking news tonight from the N.B.A. Late today, the league announcing it is pulling next year’s All-Star game out of Charlotte.

The N.B.A. and the N.C.A.A. moved events to other states. And there was such a kind of formidable backlash that the Republican governor actually lost his re-election bid.

The first sitting North Carolina Governor to lose a re-election bid, that’s partly because of backlash from the divisive HB 2 bathroom bill he signed.

And faced with the loss of billions of dollars in lawsuits, the state eventually repealed that ban.

So what happened after North Carolina repealed the law?

Social conservative activists kind of honed their packaging of transgender specific restrictions with messages that were, in many cases, borrowed from the fights over abortion and same sex marriage.

So, with these previous battles, so much of the messaging around the need for these kind of restrictions around sexuality and abortion was that children needed to be protected. So with abortion, it was about protecting the unborn. And with same sex marriage, the thinking was that same sex marriage is bad for children, that children need a mother and a father. And many of the conservative groups that were involved in these previous battles are also at the center of this current wave of anti-transgender legislation. Among these groups are the Alliance Defending Freedom. There’s another group called the American Principles Project. These are social conservative groups that really focus at this point on anti-LGBT causes and whose interests really benefit by partnering with Republican lawmakers.

So what’s the strategy we’re seeing right now with this new set of bills focused on transgender children?

So, as I mentioned, right, they pretty much learned their lessons from these earlier fights and honed their messaging. And in the case of the sports bills, this is pretty much a result of focus groups and poll testing that found that people were more supportive of anti-trans bills when they centered on the issue of sports and fair competition. Because they were able to see that when they emphasized fairness, that that made people think that it was then unfair for a lot of other athletes, specifically women and girls.

And another thing that I think is worth mentioning is that many of these states where we’re seeing these bills have been firmly controlled by Republicans for a long time. These lawmakers aren’t really worried about the general election. But they are worried about the primaries, and specifically, about being challenged from the right. And so I think in a lot of these Republican-controlled legislatures, these are hot button social issues that can be seen as easy political wins. They can go back to their base of voters and say, I voted on this issue the way that you wanted me to. And I do think that’s part of why we’re really seeing these bills gathering steam around the country.

Dan, how many of these bills have passed this year?

Well, three states. Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas have already signed transgender sports bans into law this year. And there are several states right now where this legislation is actually moving very quickly. And in some cases, like in Alabama and North Dakota, the bills are awaiting the governor’s signature.

And Dan, what about the bans on transgender healthcare?

Last month, the Arkansas legislature became the first in the nation to ban medical care for transgender youth. The governor, who is very conservative, had actually signed the trans athlete ban in another bill that allows medical providers to refuse care for trans youth on moral or religious grounds. Well, he actually vetoed this transgender healthcare bill because he said that it was government overreach and interfered with parental rights. But the legislature was able to override his veto.

Hm, interesting that a Republican governor would veto it.

Yeah, I mean, I think that given what happened with the bathroom bill in North Carolina, you were seeing Republican governors getting really anxious about what the backlash might be.

So, Dan, I guess the question in my mind right now is, is this just pure politics on the part of these state lawmakers, or is this a bunch of new legislation that really has legal staying power and could really profoundly affect people’s lives?

So it’s not really clear. But last year, when Idaho became the first state in the nation to pass a trans athlete ban, a federal judge very quickly blocked that law from going into effect. So what we do know is that there are going to be many legal battles over these laws in the future. Whether the courts and the Supreme Court side with Republicans on these laws is an open question. But what we have seen is that whether or not these bills pass, they are actually having a major impact on transgender youth and their families.

State your name and where you’re from. And you only have two minutes. Yes, ma’am. All right. My name is Cash Ashley. I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas. I was born and raised here. I am also a trans man.

And the real worry is that these bills will only further stigmatize and isolate some of the most vulnerable youth in the country.

Those of you who support this bill are the ones experimenting with the lives of young trans people by testing whether or not they can survive the onslaught of horrors through which you are subjecting them.

One of my sons is transgender. And, like, you guys are not seeing and not trying to see is how difficult it is for a person who is transgender before they are acknowledged and believed and supported. Sorry, this is very emotional.

But, you know, instead of sitting here and telling you all the bad things that have happened to me as a trans woman and sitting here and laying out my trauma, I just want to tell you how happy transitioning and living in my truth has made me. Without that, I probably wouldn’t be here.

I’m going to first speak directly to Arkansas’s transgender youth with a love of a real father. You are loved. No matter what happens here today, you are loved. We will prevail against this hatred. Stay alive, no matter what.

The world is already a hostile place towards trans people, especially trans youth. Please don’t actively choose to additionally instill violence by creating barriers to care, which is what this will do. Trans people have always been here. We will always be here. And you cannot erase us. Please stop trying.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

Essentially, what the state has to convince you is that the evidence in this case completely eliminates any reasonable doubt, or in other words, leaving only unreasonable doubt.

In closing arguments on Monday, lawyers for Derek Chauvin told jurors that the former Minneapolis police officer had acted reasonably when he knelt on George Floyd for more than nine minutes and said that the legal bar for holding Chauvin responsible for Floyd’s death is high.

Start from the point of the presumption of innocence and see how far the state can get. I submit to you that the state has failed to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

In their closing argument, prosecutors said that Chauvin had applied deadly restraint to a defenseless man and that they had proven his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video. It is exactly that. You can believe your eyes. It’s what you felt in your gut. It’s what you now know in your heart.

The prosecutors urged jurors to use their common sense and convict Chuavin.

This wasn’t policing, this was murder. The defendant is guilty of all three counts— all of them. And there’s no excuse.

The case is now in the hands of the jury. And—

archived recording (joe biden)

Folks, I have good news. Everybody is eligible as of today to get the vaccine.

President Biden announced that all adults in every U.S. state, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, meeting the deadline of April 19 that Biden had set two weeks ago.

archived recording (joe biden)

We have enough of it. You need to be protected. And you need in turn to protect your neighbors and your family.

In a recorded message, Biden trumpeted the milestone and pleaded with unvaccinated adults to seek out doses.

archived recording (joe biden)

So, please, get the vaccine.

More than half of all American adults, 132 million people, have now received at least one vaccine dose. And about 85 million people have been fully vaccinated.

Today’s episode was produced by Sydney Harper, Eric Krupke, and Asthaa Chaturvedi. It was edited by Anita Badejo and engineered by Chris Wood. Special thanks to Priya Arora.


'Racy' North Dakota Ad Sparks Controversy - Recipes

From The New York Times, I’m Michael Barbaro. This is The Daily.

Just four months into 2021, Republican state lawmakers across the country have already proposed more bills restricting the lives of transgender youth than in any previous year. Today, Sabrina Tavernise spoke with our colleague, Dan Levin, about what’s behind these bills and the impact they could have on the children and families that they target.

So, Dan, can you start by telling us what are these bills we’ve been seeing around the country?

So, the big national picture is, since January, in often Republican-controlled legislatures in over 30 states, lawmakers have introduced more than 80 bills that focus on the rights of transgender youth. And these bills kind of fall into two main baskets. The first focus is on trans youth in sports. And the other big basket of bills is around transgender medical care.

So, Dan, let’s start with the first basket. Tell me about the sports bills.

So these bills have been introduced in states from Texas to Florida to West Virginia, Kansas, and Missouri. And the major focus of these transgender sports bills is that they aim to prevent transgender athletes, and really, in most of these cases, transgender women and girls from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity.

So let me make sure I understand this. This would bar a girl who was called male at birth from playing on a female soccer team.

Exactly. These bills would ban transgender girls on a high school soccer team or a middle school soccer team or in a college team from playing on women’s teams.

And what is the argument lawmakers are making for this?

This is about equality. It’s also about a chaos that’s permeating our country.

The main argument of proponents of these bills is that they’re all about ensuring fair competition in sports.

I’ve got daughters and granddaughters who compete in sports. And I know that if they had a situation where they were faced with competing against a biological male, what would be the point?

They say that women and girls might be physically outmatched by transgender women and girls.

This important piece of legislation will ensure that young girls in Mississippi have a fair level playing field in public school sports.

And so the government needs to proactively step in and protect women and girls in sports.

And I also believe that it’s discrimination for women to not pass this.

Dan, is there any truth to the argument that trans women have certain advantages in sports? Tell me about that.

So this is a highly debated question. And there isn’t enough research done on transgender athletes to say definitively. But what we do know is that the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that kids should play on sports teams that match their gender identity. And sports associations like the N.C.A.A. and the International Olympic Committee already have policies in place to really ensure that athletics can be inclusive of transgender women, while also ensuring fair competition.

Many school athletics associations are saying this is not really an issue. And they have come out against these bills, saying they are based on stereotypes and are actually not really needed. And trans advocates also say that these bills are incredibly invasive in that many of them would allow anyone to contest a student athlete’s gender. And that student would then be required to undergo, say, a genital exam, other kind of testing that would just be incredibly stigmatizing and invasive.

Wow. How often does this question of transgender athletes playing on sports teams even come up, Dan? Are there a lot of schools encountering this?

There really aren’t. Transgender youth make up less than 2 percent of the population, according to recent estimates. And trans athletes are even fewer. Last month, the Associated Press reached out to sponsors of these anti-trans sports bills in more than 20 states. And many of these sponsors could not cite a single instance in their state or their region where the participation of transgender athletes has caused problems.

Dan, you also mentioned a second set of bills that were related to healthcare. What do those bills do?

So at the same time as we’re seeing these transgender sports bills, legislators in 21 states have introduced bills focused on banning medical care for youth who experience gender dysphoria. And that’s the medical diagnosis for when a person’s gender identity is different from the sex that’s listed on their birth certificates. Some bills, for example, criminalize doctors who provide what trans advocates call gender affirming care to minors. So these are treatments like puberty blockers or hormone therapy.

Dan, can you explain what those treatments are?

Yeah, puberty blockers are exactly what they sound like. So these are medications that temporarily suppress puberty. And the point is to give these kids more time to essentially decide if they want to move forward with a medical transition. And so, these medications will halt the body from, say, developing breasts or facial hair or a deepening voice or menstruating.

So kind of like a pause button.

Exactly. Now, hormone therapies are the next step. If an adolescent wants to continue with their medical transition, they will start taking hormones like estrogen or testosterone. And this type of treatment is a more serious decision, which is why medical guidelines actually recommend that they’re generally not prescribed until the age of 16. Many of these bills also make it illegal for doctors to perform gender affirming surgeries on anyone under the age of 18. But this part is kind of a red herring, because these surgeries are not really done on people under 18.

OK, we’re going to move on to HB 1570. Representative Lundstrom, you are recognized to present your bill.

All of these issues were recently debated in Little Rock, Arkansas, when the state legislature debated its bill.

I want to protect children. And this bill simply states that anyone under 18 in Arkansas is to be protected.

Proponents are saying this bill is needed to protect kids.

Interfering with puberty will always have an impact. You can’t pause normal development without lifetime ramifications.

That these treatments, like puberty blockers and hormone therapies, are experimental and irreversible.

You have to be 18 years of age in this state to get a tattoo without your parents’ permission. You have to be 21 to buy alcohol. To allow children to undergo these types of decisions at such an early age is a mistake.

And that children are too young to make these kinds of decisions before they turn 18.

And it’s my understanding there’s no gender reassignment surgery done on youth in Arkansas anyway. Is that true? No, there is not any surgery done on youth in Arkansas. I’m thankful for that. And hopefully this will draw that line in the sand.

Then, with banning surgery for trans kids, even the sponsor of the bill acknowledged that it never happens.

I mean, are we a solution looking for a problem? No, I don’t think so at all. And I think we need to stop it before it starts. We should never have penises amputated or breasts amputated on children ever.

Dan, who are the people testifying in support of the bill?

Well, in Arkansas, there were two separate hearings of this bill. And in total, six people testified in favor of it. They included someone from the Family Research Council, which is a conservative religious group. There were also a few child psychologists, an anesthesiologist, and an internist. But for some of these experts, it became clear that their experience with these issues was limited.

I have a question for the two doctors. How many patients have you all actually treated with gender dysphoria? In my adolescent medicine practice, it was in the late 1970s. And since I have been primarily doing anesthesia for the last 20 to 30 years, I have not taken care of those patients. So the answer is zero? You’ve never treated a child with gender dysphoria? To be honest, I had enough different patients in my private office. I cannot tell you whether I did or didn’t.

What about the people who spoke out against the bill? Who were they, and what were their arguments?

On the other side, there were over 20 people who spoke out against the legislation. They included several doctors and clinicians who have lots of experience treating kids with gender dysphoria.

There are, ma’am, multiple published standards of care for the treatment of these children. There are multiple guidelines for the treatment of these children.

And they pointed out that most of the studies cited by proponents of the bill have either been debunked or had flawed methodology. In fact, most major medical associations say these treatments are completely safe and recommend them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, not to mention dozens of European pediatric and adult published guidelines, and we follow those guidelines to the letter, because we care about these children and we want to keep them alive and healthy, not just in childhood, but after 18 as well.

And in the case of puberty blockers, there’s a lot of research that has found that the effects are reversible if treatment is suspended.

We’ve been using puberty blockers for 50 years. And there’s copious, copious numbers of publications showing that the use of puberty blockers in very young children for lengths of time of up to and over 10 years is safe.

What else do the people testifying against the bill say?

They also pointed out that these children aren’t making decisions to undergo treatment on their own. These decisions are always made in tandem with parents and doctors over a long period of time.

Teens don’t get to decide if they start cross sex hormones under 18. It is a team approach. For the teens that I know, it’s at least a six-month collaborative process to evaluate if medical intervention would be beneficial before they start medicines.

These kids are getting therapy. They’re getting medically tested to make sure that they’re healthy. And beyond these arguments, they say the bigger concern here is how this bill, if it becomes law, will affect trans youths’ mental health.

I’m doing everything I can to maintain my sanity here. I’ve had multiple children— do you know how many phone calls I’ve had to field in the last week of children calling me, saying, Dr. Hutchison, if this happens, I’m going to kill myself. Multiple.

Studies have shown that trans youth have a disproportionately high rate of attempted suicide, anywhere between 30 percent and 50 percent.

Yeah, but what studies also show is that transgender youth who are supported by their families in their transitions experience notably lower rates of depression. And transgender people who were treated with puberty suppressants during adolescence had lowered lifetime risks of suicide as adults. And so trans advocates and doctors, like the ones in Arkansas, are saying this kind of medical treatment is lifesaving and necessary.

So I guarantee you, if this bill passes, children will die. And I will call you guys every single time one does. All right, thank you for your testimony.

So, Dan, it sounds like trans youth are a very, very small proportion of the population. And trans athletes are an even smaller proportion of the population. And the medical treatments we’re talking about here seem to help, not hurt. So I guess, I’m kind of wondering, what is the point of these bills? And why are we seeing so many of them right now?

Well, I think the short answer is politics. These bills and their focus on transgender youth are, in many ways, part of a much larger strategy on the part of the conservative right and are just the latest battle in a very long history of culture wars.

Dan, how did we get here? You mentioned history earlier.

So the place to start is really in the 1970s when the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that abortion was legal. That Supreme Court decision really kind of kickstarted what we have come to think of as the modern era of culture wars. And then, in the ‘90s and early 2000s, same sex marriage became the central issue in the culture wars. And in both of these battles, gender and sexuality were used as a wedge issue pretty much by Republicans and social conservatives to animate their base. So what we’re seeing now is that transgender rights have really taken center stage when it comes to these kind of culture clashes.

So Dan, what was the opening bell of this next culture war battle?

So I would say the first major clash happened in 2016—

The political and social struggle over bathrooms and gender blew up today. The spark came—

—when North Carolina was thrust into the epicenter of the nation’s culture wars after the Republican-controlled legislature passed this bill that would bar transgender people from using public bathrooms that did not correspond with the gender on their birth certificate.

North Carolina passed a bill requiring transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex listed on their birth certificate.

And that bill also made it illegal for municipalities to adopt anti-discrimination policies intended to protect LGBT people.

Dan, what was the argument at the time?

Well, joining us now first on CNBC, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest. Mr. Forest, good morning.

Republican lawmakers who were supporting these bathroom bills were saying that they were needed to protect women and girls from predatory men.

Governments’ first and foremost priority is the protection of its citizens, and especially the protection of women and children. And that’s all—

And that this was vital for protecting traditional values. But ultimately, it backfired. And so when North Carolina passed those measures, the law drew nationwide outrage.

I am not defined by the gender on my birth certificate. I am defined by myself.

And unleashed severe economic consequences for North Carolina.

PayPal says it is now cancelling plans to bring more than 400 jobs with its new operation center.

You had major companies like PayPal cancelling expansions in the state.

Breaking news tonight from the N.B.A. Late today, the league announcing it is pulling next year’s All-Star game out of Charlotte.

The N.B.A. and the N.C.A.A. moved events to other states. And there was such a kind of formidable backlash that the Republican governor actually lost his re-election bid.

The first sitting North Carolina Governor to lose a re-election bid, that’s partly because of backlash from the divisive HB 2 bathroom bill he signed.

And faced with the loss of billions of dollars in lawsuits, the state eventually repealed that ban.

So what happened after North Carolina repealed the law?

Social conservative activists kind of honed their packaging of transgender specific restrictions with messages that were, in many cases, borrowed from the fights over abortion and same sex marriage.

So, with these previous battles, so much of the messaging around the need for these kind of restrictions around sexuality and abortion was that children needed to be protected. So with abortion, it was about protecting the unborn. And with same sex marriage, the thinking was that same sex marriage is bad for children, that children need a mother and a father. And many of the conservative groups that were involved in these previous battles are also at the center of this current wave of anti-transgender legislation. Among these groups are the Alliance Defending Freedom. There’s another group called the American Principles Project. These are social conservative groups that really focus at this point on anti-LGBT causes and whose interests really benefit by partnering with Republican lawmakers.

So what’s the strategy we’re seeing right now with this new set of bills focused on transgender children?

So, as I mentioned, right, they pretty much learned their lessons from these earlier fights and honed their messaging. And in the case of the sports bills, this is pretty much a result of focus groups and poll testing that found that people were more supportive of anti-trans bills when they centered on the issue of sports and fair competition. Because they were able to see that when they emphasized fairness, that that made people think that it was then unfair for a lot of other athletes, specifically women and girls.

And another thing that I think is worth mentioning is that many of these states where we’re seeing these bills have been firmly controlled by Republicans for a long time. These lawmakers aren’t really worried about the general election. But they are worried about the primaries, and specifically, about being challenged from the right. And so I think in a lot of these Republican-controlled legislatures, these are hot button social issues that can be seen as easy political wins. They can go back to their base of voters and say, I voted on this issue the way that you wanted me to. And I do think that’s part of why we’re really seeing these bills gathering steam around the country.

Dan, how many of these bills have passed this year?

Well, three states. Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas have already signed transgender sports bans into law this year. And there are several states right now where this legislation is actually moving very quickly. And in some cases, like in Alabama and North Dakota, the bills are awaiting the governor’s signature.

And Dan, what about the bans on transgender healthcare?

Last month, the Arkansas legislature became the first in the nation to ban medical care for transgender youth. The governor, who is very conservative, had actually signed the trans athlete ban in another bill that allows medical providers to refuse care for trans youth on moral or religious grounds. Well, he actually vetoed this transgender healthcare bill because he said that it was government overreach and interfered with parental rights. But the legislature was able to override his veto.

Hm, interesting that a Republican governor would veto it.

Yeah, I mean, I think that given what happened with the bathroom bill in North Carolina, you were seeing Republican governors getting really anxious about what the backlash might be.

So, Dan, I guess the question in my mind right now is, is this just pure politics on the part of these state lawmakers, or is this a bunch of new legislation that really has legal staying power and could really profoundly affect people’s lives?

So it’s not really clear. But last year, when Idaho became the first state in the nation to pass a trans athlete ban, a federal judge very quickly blocked that law from going into effect. So what we do know is that there are going to be many legal battles over these laws in the future. Whether the courts and the Supreme Court side with Republicans on these laws is an open question. But what we have seen is that whether or not these bills pass, they are actually having a major impact on transgender youth and their families.

State your name and where you’re from. And you only have two minutes. Yes, ma’am. All right. My name is Cash Ashley. I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas. I was born and raised here. I am also a trans man.

And the real worry is that these bills will only further stigmatize and isolate some of the most vulnerable youth in the country.

Those of you who support this bill are the ones experimenting with the lives of young trans people by testing whether or not they can survive the onslaught of horrors through which you are subjecting them.

One of my sons is transgender. And, like, you guys are not seeing and not trying to see is how difficult it is for a person who is transgender before they are acknowledged and believed and supported. Sorry, this is very emotional.

But, you know, instead of sitting here and telling you all the bad things that have happened to me as a trans woman and sitting here and laying out my trauma, I just want to tell you how happy transitioning and living in my truth has made me. Without that, I probably wouldn’t be here.

I’m going to first speak directly to Arkansas’s transgender youth with a love of a real father. You are loved. No matter what happens here today, you are loved. We will prevail against this hatred. Stay alive, no matter what.

The world is already a hostile place towards trans people, especially trans youth. Please don’t actively choose to additionally instill violence by creating barriers to care, which is what this will do. Trans people have always been here. We will always be here. And you cannot erase us. Please stop trying.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

Essentially, what the state has to convince you is that the evidence in this case completely eliminates any reasonable doubt, or in other words, leaving only unreasonable doubt.

In closing arguments on Monday, lawyers for Derek Chauvin told jurors that the former Minneapolis police officer had acted reasonably when he knelt on George Floyd for more than nine minutes and said that the legal bar for holding Chauvin responsible for Floyd’s death is high.

Start from the point of the presumption of innocence and see how far the state can get. I submit to you that the state has failed to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

In their closing argument, prosecutors said that Chauvin had applied deadly restraint to a defenseless man and that they had proven his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video. It is exactly that. You can believe your eyes. It’s what you felt in your gut. It’s what you now know in your heart.

The prosecutors urged jurors to use their common sense and convict Chuavin.

This wasn’t policing, this was murder. The defendant is guilty of all three counts— all of them. And there’s no excuse.

The case is now in the hands of the jury. And—

archived recording (joe biden)

Folks, I have good news. Everybody is eligible as of today to get the vaccine.

President Biden announced that all adults in every U.S. state, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, meeting the deadline of April 19 that Biden had set two weeks ago.

archived recording (joe biden)

We have enough of it. You need to be protected. And you need in turn to protect your neighbors and your family.

In a recorded message, Biden trumpeted the milestone and pleaded with unvaccinated adults to seek out doses.

archived recording (joe biden)

So, please, get the vaccine.

More than half of all American adults, 132 million people, have now received at least one vaccine dose. And about 85 million people have been fully vaccinated.

Today’s episode was produced by Sydney Harper, Eric Krupke, and Asthaa Chaturvedi. It was edited by Anita Badejo and engineered by Chris Wood. Special thanks to Priya Arora.


'Racy' North Dakota Ad Sparks Controversy - Recipes

From The New York Times, I’m Michael Barbaro. This is The Daily.

Just four months into 2021, Republican state lawmakers across the country have already proposed more bills restricting the lives of transgender youth than in any previous year. Today, Sabrina Tavernise spoke with our colleague, Dan Levin, about what’s behind these bills and the impact they could have on the children and families that they target.

So, Dan, can you start by telling us what are these bills we’ve been seeing around the country?

So, the big national picture is, since January, in often Republican-controlled legislatures in over 30 states, lawmakers have introduced more than 80 bills that focus on the rights of transgender youth. And these bills kind of fall into two main baskets. The first focus is on trans youth in sports. And the other big basket of bills is around transgender medical care.

So, Dan, let’s start with the first basket. Tell me about the sports bills.

So these bills have been introduced in states from Texas to Florida to West Virginia, Kansas, and Missouri. And the major focus of these transgender sports bills is that they aim to prevent transgender athletes, and really, in most of these cases, transgender women and girls from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity.

So let me make sure I understand this. This would bar a girl who was called male at birth from playing on a female soccer team.

Exactly. These bills would ban transgender girls on a high school soccer team or a middle school soccer team or in a college team from playing on women’s teams.

And what is the argument lawmakers are making for this?

This is about equality. It’s also about a chaos that’s permeating our country.

The main argument of proponents of these bills is that they’re all about ensuring fair competition in sports.

I’ve got daughters and granddaughters who compete in sports. And I know that if they had a situation where they were faced with competing against a biological male, what would be the point?

They say that women and girls might be physically outmatched by transgender women and girls.

This important piece of legislation will ensure that young girls in Mississippi have a fair level playing field in public school sports.

And so the government needs to proactively step in and protect women and girls in sports.

And I also believe that it’s discrimination for women to not pass this.

Dan, is there any truth to the argument that trans women have certain advantages in sports? Tell me about that.

So this is a highly debated question. And there isn’t enough research done on transgender athletes to say definitively. But what we do know is that the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that kids should play on sports teams that match their gender identity. And sports associations like the N.C.A.A. and the International Olympic Committee already have policies in place to really ensure that athletics can be inclusive of transgender women, while also ensuring fair competition.

Many school athletics associations are saying this is not really an issue. And they have come out against these bills, saying they are based on stereotypes and are actually not really needed. And trans advocates also say that these bills are incredibly invasive in that many of them would allow anyone to contest a student athlete’s gender. And that student would then be required to undergo, say, a genital exam, other kind of testing that would just be incredibly stigmatizing and invasive.

Wow. How often does this question of transgender athletes playing on sports teams even come up, Dan? Are there a lot of schools encountering this?

There really aren’t. Transgender youth make up less than 2 percent of the population, according to recent estimates. And trans athletes are even fewer. Last month, the Associated Press reached out to sponsors of these anti-trans sports bills in more than 20 states. And many of these sponsors could not cite a single instance in their state or their region where the participation of transgender athletes has caused problems.

Dan, you also mentioned a second set of bills that were related to healthcare. What do those bills do?

So at the same time as we’re seeing these transgender sports bills, legislators in 21 states have introduced bills focused on banning medical care for youth who experience gender dysphoria. And that’s the medical diagnosis for when a person’s gender identity is different from the sex that’s listed on their birth certificates. Some bills, for example, criminalize doctors who provide what trans advocates call gender affirming care to minors. So these are treatments like puberty blockers or hormone therapy.

Dan, can you explain what those treatments are?

Yeah, puberty blockers are exactly what they sound like. So these are medications that temporarily suppress puberty. And the point is to give these kids more time to essentially decide if they want to move forward with a medical transition. And so, these medications will halt the body from, say, developing breasts or facial hair or a deepening voice or menstruating.

So kind of like a pause button.

Exactly. Now, hormone therapies are the next step. If an adolescent wants to continue with their medical transition, they will start taking hormones like estrogen or testosterone. And this type of treatment is a more serious decision, which is why medical guidelines actually recommend that they’re generally not prescribed until the age of 16. Many of these bills also make it illegal for doctors to perform gender affirming surgeries on anyone under the age of 18. But this part is kind of a red herring, because these surgeries are not really done on people under 18.

OK, we’re going to move on to HB 1570. Representative Lundstrom, you are recognized to present your bill.

All of these issues were recently debated in Little Rock, Arkansas, when the state legislature debated its bill.

I want to protect children. And this bill simply states that anyone under 18 in Arkansas is to be protected.

Proponents are saying this bill is needed to protect kids.

Interfering with puberty will always have an impact. You can’t pause normal development without lifetime ramifications.

That these treatments, like puberty blockers and hormone therapies, are experimental and irreversible.

You have to be 18 years of age in this state to get a tattoo without your parents’ permission. You have to be 21 to buy alcohol. To allow children to undergo these types of decisions at such an early age is a mistake.

And that children are too young to make these kinds of decisions before they turn 18.

And it’s my understanding there’s no gender reassignment surgery done on youth in Arkansas anyway. Is that true? No, there is not any surgery done on youth in Arkansas. I’m thankful for that. And hopefully this will draw that line in the sand.

Then, with banning surgery for trans kids, even the sponsor of the bill acknowledged that it never happens.

I mean, are we a solution looking for a problem? No, I don’t think so at all. And I think we need to stop it before it starts. We should never have penises amputated or breasts amputated on children ever.

Dan, who are the people testifying in support of the bill?

Well, in Arkansas, there were two separate hearings of this bill. And in total, six people testified in favor of it. They included someone from the Family Research Council, which is a conservative religious group. There were also a few child psychologists, an anesthesiologist, and an internist. But for some of these experts, it became clear that their experience with these issues was limited.

I have a question for the two doctors. How many patients have you all actually treated with gender dysphoria? In my adolescent medicine practice, it was in the late 1970s. And since I have been primarily doing anesthesia for the last 20 to 30 years, I have not taken care of those patients. So the answer is zero? You’ve never treated a child with gender dysphoria? To be honest, I had enough different patients in my private office. I cannot tell you whether I did or didn’t.

What about the people who spoke out against the bill? Who were they, and what were their arguments?

On the other side, there were over 20 people who spoke out against the legislation. They included several doctors and clinicians who have lots of experience treating kids with gender dysphoria.

There are, ma’am, multiple published standards of care for the treatment of these children. There are multiple guidelines for the treatment of these children.

And they pointed out that most of the studies cited by proponents of the bill have either been debunked or had flawed methodology. In fact, most major medical associations say these treatments are completely safe and recommend them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, not to mention dozens of European pediatric and adult published guidelines, and we follow those guidelines to the letter, because we care about these children and we want to keep them alive and healthy, not just in childhood, but after 18 as well.

And in the case of puberty blockers, there’s a lot of research that has found that the effects are reversible if treatment is suspended.

We’ve been using puberty blockers for 50 years. And there’s copious, copious numbers of publications showing that the use of puberty blockers in very young children for lengths of time of up to and over 10 years is safe.

What else do the people testifying against the bill say?

They also pointed out that these children aren’t making decisions to undergo treatment on their own. These decisions are always made in tandem with parents and doctors over a long period of time.

Teens don’t get to decide if they start cross sex hormones under 18. It is a team approach. For the teens that I know, it’s at least a six-month collaborative process to evaluate if medical intervention would be beneficial before they start medicines.

These kids are getting therapy. They’re getting medically tested to make sure that they’re healthy. And beyond these arguments, they say the bigger concern here is how this bill, if it becomes law, will affect trans youths’ mental health.

I’m doing everything I can to maintain my sanity here. I’ve had multiple children— do you know how many phone calls I’ve had to field in the last week of children calling me, saying, Dr. Hutchison, if this happens, I’m going to kill myself. Multiple.

Studies have shown that trans youth have a disproportionately high rate of attempted suicide, anywhere between 30 percent and 50 percent.

Yeah, but what studies also show is that transgender youth who are supported by their families in their transitions experience notably lower rates of depression. And transgender people who were treated with puberty suppressants during adolescence had lowered lifetime risks of suicide as adults. And so trans advocates and doctors, like the ones in Arkansas, are saying this kind of medical treatment is lifesaving and necessary.

So I guarantee you, if this bill passes, children will die. And I will call you guys every single time one does. All right, thank you for your testimony.

So, Dan, it sounds like trans youth are a very, very small proportion of the population. And trans athletes are an even smaller proportion of the population. And the medical treatments we’re talking about here seem to help, not hurt. So I guess, I’m kind of wondering, what is the point of these bills? And why are we seeing so many of them right now?

Well, I think the short answer is politics. These bills and their focus on transgender youth are, in many ways, part of a much larger strategy on the part of the conservative right and are just the latest battle in a very long history of culture wars.

Dan, how did we get here? You mentioned history earlier.

So the place to start is really in the 1970s when the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that abortion was legal. That Supreme Court decision really kind of kickstarted what we have come to think of as the modern era of culture wars. And then, in the ‘90s and early 2000s, same sex marriage became the central issue in the culture wars. And in both of these battles, gender and sexuality were used as a wedge issue pretty much by Republicans and social conservatives to animate their base. So what we’re seeing now is that transgender rights have really taken center stage when it comes to these kind of culture clashes.

So Dan, what was the opening bell of this next culture war battle?

So I would say the first major clash happened in 2016—

The political and social struggle over bathrooms and gender blew up today. The spark came—

—when North Carolina was thrust into the epicenter of the nation’s culture wars after the Republican-controlled legislature passed this bill that would bar transgender people from using public bathrooms that did not correspond with the gender on their birth certificate.

North Carolina passed a bill requiring transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex listed on their birth certificate.

And that bill also made it illegal for municipalities to adopt anti-discrimination policies intended to protect LGBT people.

Dan, what was the argument at the time?

Well, joining us now first on CNBC, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest. Mr. Forest, good morning.

Republican lawmakers who were supporting these bathroom bills were saying that they were needed to protect women and girls from predatory men.

Governments’ first and foremost priority is the protection of its citizens, and especially the protection of women and children. And that’s all—

And that this was vital for protecting traditional values. But ultimately, it backfired. And so when North Carolina passed those measures, the law drew nationwide outrage.

I am not defined by the gender on my birth certificate. I am defined by myself.

And unleashed severe economic consequences for North Carolina.

PayPal says it is now cancelling plans to bring more than 400 jobs with its new operation center.

You had major companies like PayPal cancelling expansions in the state.

Breaking news tonight from the N.B.A. Late today, the league announcing it is pulling next year’s All-Star game out of Charlotte.

The N.B.A. and the N.C.A.A. moved events to other states. And there was such a kind of formidable backlash that the Republican governor actually lost his re-election bid.

The first sitting North Carolina Governor to lose a re-election bid, that’s partly because of backlash from the divisive HB 2 bathroom bill he signed.

And faced with the loss of billions of dollars in lawsuits, the state eventually repealed that ban.

So what happened after North Carolina repealed the law?

Social conservative activists kind of honed their packaging of transgender specific restrictions with messages that were, in many cases, borrowed from the fights over abortion and same sex marriage.

So, with these previous battles, so much of the messaging around the need for these kind of restrictions around sexuality and abortion was that children needed to be protected. So with abortion, it was about protecting the unborn. And with same sex marriage, the thinking was that same sex marriage is bad for children, that children need a mother and a father. And many of the conservative groups that were involved in these previous battles are also at the center of this current wave of anti-transgender legislation. Among these groups are the Alliance Defending Freedom. There’s another group called the American Principles Project. These are social conservative groups that really focus at this point on anti-LGBT causes and whose interests really benefit by partnering with Republican lawmakers.

So what’s the strategy we’re seeing right now with this new set of bills focused on transgender children?

So, as I mentioned, right, they pretty much learned their lessons from these earlier fights and honed their messaging. And in the case of the sports bills, this is pretty much a result of focus groups and poll testing that found that people were more supportive of anti-trans bills when they centered on the issue of sports and fair competition. Because they were able to see that when they emphasized fairness, that that made people think that it was then unfair for a lot of other athletes, specifically women and girls.

And another thing that I think is worth mentioning is that many of these states where we’re seeing these bills have been firmly controlled by Republicans for a long time. These lawmakers aren’t really worried about the general election. But they are worried about the primaries, and specifically, about being challenged from the right. And so I think in a lot of these Republican-controlled legislatures, these are hot button social issues that can be seen as easy political wins. They can go back to their base of voters and say, I voted on this issue the way that you wanted me to. And I do think that’s part of why we’re really seeing these bills gathering steam around the country.

Dan, how many of these bills have passed this year?

Well, three states. Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas have already signed transgender sports bans into law this year. And there are several states right now where this legislation is actually moving very quickly. And in some cases, like in Alabama and North Dakota, the bills are awaiting the governor’s signature.

And Dan, what about the bans on transgender healthcare?

Last month, the Arkansas legislature became the first in the nation to ban medical care for transgender youth. The governor, who is very conservative, had actually signed the trans athlete ban in another bill that allows medical providers to refuse care for trans youth on moral or religious grounds. Well, he actually vetoed this transgender healthcare bill because he said that it was government overreach and interfered with parental rights. But the legislature was able to override his veto.

Hm, interesting that a Republican governor would veto it.

Yeah, I mean, I think that given what happened with the bathroom bill in North Carolina, you were seeing Republican governors getting really anxious about what the backlash might be.

So, Dan, I guess the question in my mind right now is, is this just pure politics on the part of these state lawmakers, or is this a bunch of new legislation that really has legal staying power and could really profoundly affect people’s lives?

So it’s not really clear. But last year, when Idaho became the first state in the nation to pass a trans athlete ban, a federal judge very quickly blocked that law from going into effect. So what we do know is that there are going to be many legal battles over these laws in the future. Whether the courts and the Supreme Court side with Republicans on these laws is an open question. But what we have seen is that whether or not these bills pass, they are actually having a major impact on transgender youth and their families.

State your name and where you’re from. And you only have two minutes. Yes, ma’am. All right. My name is Cash Ashley. I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas. I was born and raised here. I am also a trans man.

And the real worry is that these bills will only further stigmatize and isolate some of the most vulnerable youth in the country.

Those of you who support this bill are the ones experimenting with the lives of young trans people by testing whether or not they can survive the onslaught of horrors through which you are subjecting them.

One of my sons is transgender. And, like, you guys are not seeing and not trying to see is how difficult it is for a person who is transgender before they are acknowledged and believed and supported. Sorry, this is very emotional.

But, you know, instead of sitting here and telling you all the bad things that have happened to me as a trans woman and sitting here and laying out my trauma, I just want to tell you how happy transitioning and living in my truth has made me. Without that, I probably wouldn’t be here.

I’m going to first speak directly to Arkansas’s transgender youth with a love of a real father. You are loved. No matter what happens here today, you are loved. We will prevail against this hatred. Stay alive, no matter what.

The world is already a hostile place towards trans people, especially trans youth. Please don’t actively choose to additionally instill violence by creating barriers to care, which is what this will do. Trans people have always been here. We will always be here. And you cannot erase us. Please stop trying.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

Essentially, what the state has to convince you is that the evidence in this case completely eliminates any reasonable doubt, or in other words, leaving only unreasonable doubt.

In closing arguments on Monday, lawyers for Derek Chauvin told jurors that the former Minneapolis police officer had acted reasonably when he knelt on George Floyd for more than nine minutes and said that the legal bar for holding Chauvin responsible for Floyd’s death is high.

Start from the point of the presumption of innocence and see how far the state can get. I submit to you that the state has failed to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

In their closing argument, prosecutors said that Chauvin had applied deadly restraint to a defenseless man and that they had proven his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video. It is exactly that. You can believe your eyes. It’s what you felt in your gut. It’s what you now know in your heart.

The prosecutors urged jurors to use their common sense and convict Chuavin.

This wasn’t policing, this was murder. The defendant is guilty of all three counts— all of them. And there’s no excuse.

The case is now in the hands of the jury. And—

archived recording (joe biden)

Folks, I have good news. Everybody is eligible as of today to get the vaccine.

President Biden announced that all adults in every U.S. state, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, meeting the deadline of April 19 that Biden had set two weeks ago.

archived recording (joe biden)

We have enough of it. You need to be protected. And you need in turn to protect your neighbors and your family.

In a recorded message, Biden trumpeted the milestone and pleaded with unvaccinated adults to seek out doses.

archived recording (joe biden)

So, please, get the vaccine.

More than half of all American adults, 132 million people, have now received at least one vaccine dose. And about 85 million people have been fully vaccinated.

Today’s episode was produced by Sydney Harper, Eric Krupke, and Asthaa Chaturvedi. It was edited by Anita Badejo and engineered by Chris Wood. Special thanks to Priya Arora.


'Racy' North Dakota Ad Sparks Controversy - Recipes

From The New York Times, I’m Michael Barbaro. This is The Daily.

Just four months into 2021, Republican state lawmakers across the country have already proposed more bills restricting the lives of transgender youth than in any previous year. Today, Sabrina Tavernise spoke with our colleague, Dan Levin, about what’s behind these bills and the impact they could have on the children and families that they target.

So, Dan, can you start by telling us what are these bills we’ve been seeing around the country?

So, the big national picture is, since January, in often Republican-controlled legislatures in over 30 states, lawmakers have introduced more than 80 bills that focus on the rights of transgender youth. And these bills kind of fall into two main baskets. The first focus is on trans youth in sports. And the other big basket of bills is around transgender medical care.

So, Dan, let’s start with the first basket. Tell me about the sports bills.

So these bills have been introduced in states from Texas to Florida to West Virginia, Kansas, and Missouri. And the major focus of these transgender sports bills is that they aim to prevent transgender athletes, and really, in most of these cases, transgender women and girls from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity.

So let me make sure I understand this. This would bar a girl who was called male at birth from playing on a female soccer team.

Exactly. These bills would ban transgender girls on a high school soccer team or a middle school soccer team or in a college team from playing on women’s teams.

And what is the argument lawmakers are making for this?

This is about equality. It’s also about a chaos that’s permeating our country.

The main argument of proponents of these bills is that they’re all about ensuring fair competition in sports.

I’ve got daughters and granddaughters who compete in sports. And I know that if they had a situation where they were faced with competing against a biological male, what would be the point?

They say that women and girls might be physically outmatched by transgender women and girls.

This important piece of legislation will ensure that young girls in Mississippi have a fair level playing field in public school sports.

And so the government needs to proactively step in and protect women and girls in sports.

And I also believe that it’s discrimination for women to not pass this.

Dan, is there any truth to the argument that trans women have certain advantages in sports? Tell me about that.

So this is a highly debated question. And there isn’t enough research done on transgender athletes to say definitively. But what we do know is that the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that kids should play on sports teams that match their gender identity. And sports associations like the N.C.A.A. and the International Olympic Committee already have policies in place to really ensure that athletics can be inclusive of transgender women, while also ensuring fair competition.

Many school athletics associations are saying this is not really an issue. And they have come out against these bills, saying they are based on stereotypes and are actually not really needed. And trans advocates also say that these bills are incredibly invasive in that many of them would allow anyone to contest a student athlete’s gender. And that student would then be required to undergo, say, a genital exam, other kind of testing that would just be incredibly stigmatizing and invasive.

Wow. How often does this question of transgender athletes playing on sports teams even come up, Dan? Are there a lot of schools encountering this?

There really aren’t. Transgender youth make up less than 2 percent of the population, according to recent estimates. And trans athletes are even fewer. Last month, the Associated Press reached out to sponsors of these anti-trans sports bills in more than 20 states. And many of these sponsors could not cite a single instance in their state or their region where the participation of transgender athletes has caused problems.

Dan, you also mentioned a second set of bills that were related to healthcare. What do those bills do?

So at the same time as we’re seeing these transgender sports bills, legislators in 21 states have introduced bills focused on banning medical care for youth who experience gender dysphoria. And that’s the medical diagnosis for when a person’s gender identity is different from the sex that’s listed on their birth certificates. Some bills, for example, criminalize doctors who provide what trans advocates call gender affirming care to minors. So these are treatments like puberty blockers or hormone therapy.

Dan, can you explain what those treatments are?

Yeah, puberty blockers are exactly what they sound like. So these are medications that temporarily suppress puberty. And the point is to give these kids more time to essentially decide if they want to move forward with a medical transition. And so, these medications will halt the body from, say, developing breasts or facial hair or a deepening voice or menstruating.

So kind of like a pause button.

Exactly. Now, hormone therapies are the next step. If an adolescent wants to continue with their medical transition, they will start taking hormones like estrogen or testosterone. And this type of treatment is a more serious decision, which is why medical guidelines actually recommend that they’re generally not prescribed until the age of 16. Many of these bills also make it illegal for doctors to perform gender affirming surgeries on anyone under the age of 18. But this part is kind of a red herring, because these surgeries are not really done on people under 18.

OK, we’re going to move on to HB 1570. Representative Lundstrom, you are recognized to present your bill.

All of these issues were recently debated in Little Rock, Arkansas, when the state legislature debated its bill.

I want to protect children. And this bill simply states that anyone under 18 in Arkansas is to be protected.

Proponents are saying this bill is needed to protect kids.

Interfering with puberty will always have an impact. You can’t pause normal development without lifetime ramifications.

That these treatments, like puberty blockers and hormone therapies, are experimental and irreversible.

You have to be 18 years of age in this state to get a tattoo without your parents’ permission. You have to be 21 to buy alcohol. To allow children to undergo these types of decisions at such an early age is a mistake.

And that children are too young to make these kinds of decisions before they turn 18.

And it’s my understanding there’s no gender reassignment surgery done on youth in Arkansas anyway. Is that true? No, there is not any surgery done on youth in Arkansas. I’m thankful for that. And hopefully this will draw that line in the sand.

Then, with banning surgery for trans kids, even the sponsor of the bill acknowledged that it never happens.

I mean, are we a solution looking for a problem? No, I don’t think so at all. And I think we need to stop it before it starts. We should never have penises amputated or breasts amputated on children ever.

Dan, who are the people testifying in support of the bill?

Well, in Arkansas, there were two separate hearings of this bill. And in total, six people testified in favor of it. They included someone from the Family Research Council, which is a conservative religious group. There were also a few child psychologists, an anesthesiologist, and an internist. But for some of these experts, it became clear that their experience with these issues was limited.

I have a question for the two doctors. How many patients have you all actually treated with gender dysphoria? In my adolescent medicine practice, it was in the late 1970s. And since I have been primarily doing anesthesia for the last 20 to 30 years, I have not taken care of those patients. So the answer is zero? You’ve never treated a child with gender dysphoria? To be honest, I had enough different patients in my private office. I cannot tell you whether I did or didn’t.

What about the people who spoke out against the bill? Who were they, and what were their arguments?

On the other side, there were over 20 people who spoke out against the legislation. They included several doctors and clinicians who have lots of experience treating kids with gender dysphoria.

There are, ma’am, multiple published standards of care for the treatment of these children. There are multiple guidelines for the treatment of these children.

And they pointed out that most of the studies cited by proponents of the bill have either been debunked or had flawed methodology. In fact, most major medical associations say these treatments are completely safe and recommend them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, not to mention dozens of European pediatric and adult published guidelines, and we follow those guidelines to the letter, because we care about these children and we want to keep them alive and healthy, not just in childhood, but after 18 as well.

And in the case of puberty blockers, there’s a lot of research that has found that the effects are reversible if treatment is suspended.

We’ve been using puberty blockers for 50 years. And there’s copious, copious numbers of publications showing that the use of puberty blockers in very young children for lengths of time of up to and over 10 years is safe.

What else do the people testifying against the bill say?

They also pointed out that these children aren’t making decisions to undergo treatment on their own. These decisions are always made in tandem with parents and doctors over a long period of time.

Teens don’t get to decide if they start cross sex hormones under 18. It is a team approach. For the teens that I know, it’s at least a six-month collaborative process to evaluate if medical intervention would be beneficial before they start medicines.

These kids are getting therapy. They’re getting medically tested to make sure that they’re healthy. And beyond these arguments, they say the bigger concern here is how this bill, if it becomes law, will affect trans youths’ mental health.

I’m doing everything I can to maintain my sanity here. I’ve had multiple children— do you know how many phone calls I’ve had to field in the last week of children calling me, saying, Dr. Hutchison, if this happens, I’m going to kill myself. Multiple.

Studies have shown that trans youth have a disproportionately high rate of attempted suicide, anywhere between 30 percent and 50 percent.

Yeah, but what studies also show is that transgender youth who are supported by their families in their transitions experience notably lower rates of depression. And transgender people who were treated with puberty suppressants during adolescence had lowered lifetime risks of suicide as adults. And so trans advocates and doctors, like the ones in Arkansas, are saying this kind of medical treatment is lifesaving and necessary.

So I guarantee you, if this bill passes, children will die. And I will call you guys every single time one does. All right, thank you for your testimony.

So, Dan, it sounds like trans youth are a very, very small proportion of the population. And trans athletes are an even smaller proportion of the population. And the medical treatments we’re talking about here seem to help, not hurt. So I guess, I’m kind of wondering, what is the point of these bills? And why are we seeing so many of them right now?

Well, I think the short answer is politics. These bills and their focus on transgender youth are, in many ways, part of a much larger strategy on the part of the conservative right and are just the latest battle in a very long history of culture wars.

Dan, how did we get here? You mentioned history earlier.

So the place to start is really in the 1970s when the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that abortion was legal. That Supreme Court decision really kind of kickstarted what we have come to think of as the modern era of culture wars. And then, in the ‘90s and early 2000s, same sex marriage became the central issue in the culture wars. And in both of these battles, gender and sexuality were used as a wedge issue pretty much by Republicans and social conservatives to animate their base. So what we’re seeing now is that transgender rights have really taken center stage when it comes to these kind of culture clashes.

So Dan, what was the opening bell of this next culture war battle?

So I would say the first major clash happened in 2016—

The political and social struggle over bathrooms and gender blew up today. The spark came—

—when North Carolina was thrust into the epicenter of the nation’s culture wars after the Republican-controlled legislature passed this bill that would bar transgender people from using public bathrooms that did not correspond with the gender on their birth certificate.

North Carolina passed a bill requiring transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex listed on their birth certificate.

And that bill also made it illegal for municipalities to adopt anti-discrimination policies intended to protect LGBT people.

Dan, what was the argument at the time?

Well, joining us now first on CNBC, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest. Mr. Forest, good morning.

Republican lawmakers who were supporting these bathroom bills were saying that they were needed to protect women and girls from predatory men.

Governments’ first and foremost priority is the protection of its citizens, and especially the protection of women and children. And that’s all—

And that this was vital for protecting traditional values. But ultimately, it backfired. And so when North Carolina passed those measures, the law drew nationwide outrage.

I am not defined by the gender on my birth certificate. I am defined by myself.

And unleashed severe economic consequences for North Carolina.

PayPal says it is now cancelling plans to bring more than 400 jobs with its new operation center.

You had major companies like PayPal cancelling expansions in the state.

Breaking news tonight from the N.B.A. Late today, the league announcing it is pulling next year’s All-Star game out of Charlotte.

The N.B.A. and the N.C.A.A. moved events to other states. And there was such a kind of formidable backlash that the Republican governor actually lost his re-election bid.

The first sitting North Carolina Governor to lose a re-election bid, that’s partly because of backlash from the divisive HB 2 bathroom bill he signed.

And faced with the loss of billions of dollars in lawsuits, the state eventually repealed that ban.

So what happened after North Carolina repealed the law?

Social conservative activists kind of honed their packaging of transgender specific restrictions with messages that were, in many cases, borrowed from the fights over abortion and same sex marriage.

So, with these previous battles, so much of the messaging around the need for these kind of restrictions around sexuality and abortion was that children needed to be protected. So with abortion, it was about protecting the unborn. And with same sex marriage, the thinking was that same sex marriage is bad for children, that children need a mother and a father. And many of the conservative groups that were involved in these previous battles are also at the center of this current wave of anti-transgender legislation. Among these groups are the Alliance Defending Freedom. There’s another group called the American Principles Project. These are social conservative groups that really focus at this point on anti-LGBT causes and whose interests really benefit by partnering with Republican lawmakers.

So what’s the strategy we’re seeing right now with this new set of bills focused on transgender children?

So, as I mentioned, right, they pretty much learned their lessons from these earlier fights and honed their messaging. And in the case of the sports bills, this is pretty much a result of focus groups and poll testing that found that people were more supportive of anti-trans bills when they centered on the issue of sports and fair competition. Because they were able to see that when they emphasized fairness, that that made people think that it was then unfair for a lot of other athletes, specifically women and girls.

And another thing that I think is worth mentioning is that many of these states where we’re seeing these bills have been firmly controlled by Republicans for a long time. These lawmakers aren’t really worried about the general election. But they are worried about the primaries, and specifically, about being challenged from the right. And so I think in a lot of these Republican-controlled legislatures, these are hot button social issues that can be seen as easy political wins. They can go back to their base of voters and say, I voted on this issue the way that you wanted me to. And I do think that’s part of why we’re really seeing these bills gathering steam around the country.

Dan, how many of these bills have passed this year?

Well, three states. Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas have already signed transgender sports bans into law this year. And there are several states right now where this legislation is actually moving very quickly. And in some cases, like in Alabama and North Dakota, the bills are awaiting the governor’s signature.

And Dan, what about the bans on transgender healthcare?

Last month, the Arkansas legislature became the first in the nation to ban medical care for transgender youth. The governor, who is very conservative, had actually signed the trans athlete ban in another bill that allows medical providers to refuse care for trans youth on moral or religious grounds. Well, he actually vetoed this transgender healthcare bill because he said that it was government overreach and interfered with parental rights. But the legislature was able to override his veto.

Hm, interesting that a Republican governor would veto it.

Yeah, I mean, I think that given what happened with the bathroom bill in North Carolina, you were seeing Republican governors getting really anxious about what the backlash might be.

So, Dan, I guess the question in my mind right now is, is this just pure politics on the part of these state lawmakers, or is this a bunch of new legislation that really has legal staying power and could really profoundly affect people’s lives?

So it’s not really clear. But last year, when Idaho became the first state in the nation to pass a trans athlete ban, a federal judge very quickly blocked that law from going into effect. So what we do know is that there are going to be many legal battles over these laws in the future. Whether the courts and the Supreme Court side with Republicans on these laws is an open question. But what we have seen is that whether or not these bills pass, they are actually having a major impact on transgender youth and their families.

State your name and where you’re from. And you only have two minutes. Yes, ma’am. All right. My name is Cash Ashley. I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas. I was born and raised here. I am also a trans man.

And the real worry is that these bills will only further stigmatize and isolate some of the most vulnerable youth in the country.

Those of you who support this bill are the ones experimenting with the lives of young trans people by testing whether or not they can survive the onslaught of horrors through which you are subjecting them.

One of my sons is transgender. And, like, you guys are not seeing and not trying to see is how difficult it is for a person who is transgender before they are acknowledged and believed and supported. Sorry, this is very emotional.

But, you know, instead of sitting here and telling you all the bad things that have happened to me as a trans woman and sitting here and laying out my trauma, I just want to tell you how happy transitioning and living in my truth has made me. Without that, I probably wouldn’t be here.

I’m going to first speak directly to Arkansas’s transgender youth with a love of a real father. You are loved. No matter what happens here today, you are loved. We will prevail against this hatred. Stay alive, no matter what.

The world is already a hostile place towards trans people, especially trans youth. Please don’t actively choose to additionally instill violence by creating barriers to care, which is what this will do. Trans people have always been here. We will always be here. And you cannot erase us. Please stop trying.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

Essentially, what the state has to convince you is that the evidence in this case completely eliminates any reasonable doubt, or in other words, leaving only unreasonable doubt.

In closing arguments on Monday, lawyers for Derek Chauvin told jurors that the former Minneapolis police officer had acted reasonably when he knelt on George Floyd for more than nine minutes and said that the legal bar for holding Chauvin responsible for Floyd’s death is high.

Start from the point of the presumption of innocence and see how far the state can get. I submit to you that the state has failed to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

In their closing argument, prosecutors said that Chauvin had applied deadly restraint to a defenseless man and that they had proven his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video. It is exactly that. You can believe your eyes. It’s what you felt in your gut. It’s what you now know in your heart.

The prosecutors urged jurors to use their common sense and convict Chuavin.

This wasn’t policing, this was murder. The defendant is guilty of all three counts— all of them. And there’s no excuse.

The case is now in the hands of the jury. And—

archived recording (joe biden)

Folks, I have good news. Everybody is eligible as of today to get the vaccine.

President Biden announced that all adults in every U.S. state, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, meeting the deadline of April 19 that Biden had set two weeks ago.

archived recording (joe biden)

We have enough of it. You need to be protected. And you need in turn to protect your neighbors and your family.

In a recorded message, Biden trumpeted the milestone and pleaded with unvaccinated adults to seek out doses.

archived recording (joe biden)

So, please, get the vaccine.

More than half of all American adults, 132 million people, have now received at least one vaccine dose. And about 85 million people have been fully vaccinated.

Today’s episode was produced by Sydney Harper, Eric Krupke, and Asthaa Chaturvedi. It was edited by Anita Badejo and engineered by Chris Wood. Special thanks to Priya Arora.


'Racy' North Dakota Ad Sparks Controversy - Recipes

From The New York Times, I’m Michael Barbaro. This is The Daily.

Just four months into 2021, Republican state lawmakers across the country have already proposed more bills restricting the lives of transgender youth than in any previous year. Today, Sabrina Tavernise spoke with our colleague, Dan Levin, about what’s behind these bills and the impact they could have on the children and families that they target.

So, Dan, can you start by telling us what are these bills we’ve been seeing around the country?

So, the big national picture is, since January, in often Republican-controlled legislatures in over 30 states, lawmakers have introduced more than 80 bills that focus on the rights of transgender youth. And these bills kind of fall into two main baskets. The first focus is on trans youth in sports. And the other big basket of bills is around transgender medical care.

So, Dan, let’s start with the first basket. Tell me about the sports bills.

So these bills have been introduced in states from Texas to Florida to West Virginia, Kansas, and Missouri. And the major focus of these transgender sports bills is that they aim to prevent transgender athletes, and really, in most of these cases, transgender women and girls from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity.

So let me make sure I understand this. This would bar a girl who was called male at birth from playing on a female soccer team.

Exactly. These bills would ban transgender girls on a high school soccer team or a middle school soccer team or in a college team from playing on women’s teams.

And what is the argument lawmakers are making for this?

This is about equality. It’s also about a chaos that’s permeating our country.

The main argument of proponents of these bills is that they’re all about ensuring fair competition in sports.

I’ve got daughters and granddaughters who compete in sports. And I know that if they had a situation where they were faced with competing against a biological male, what would be the point?

They say that women and girls might be physically outmatched by transgender women and girls.

This important piece of legislation will ensure that young girls in Mississippi have a fair level playing field in public school sports.

And so the government needs to proactively step in and protect women and girls in sports.

And I also believe that it’s discrimination for women to not pass this.

Dan, is there any truth to the argument that trans women have certain advantages in sports? Tell me about that.

So this is a highly debated question. And there isn’t enough research done on transgender athletes to say definitively. But what we do know is that the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that kids should play on sports teams that match their gender identity. And sports associations like the N.C.A.A. and the International Olympic Committee already have policies in place to really ensure that athletics can be inclusive of transgender women, while also ensuring fair competition.

Many school athletics associations are saying this is not really an issue. And they have come out against these bills, saying they are based on stereotypes and are actually not really needed. And trans advocates also say that these bills are incredibly invasive in that many of them would allow anyone to contest a student athlete’s gender. And that student would then be required to undergo, say, a genital exam, other kind of testing that would just be incredibly stigmatizing and invasive.

Wow. How often does this question of transgender athletes playing on sports teams even come up, Dan? Are there a lot of schools encountering this?

There really aren’t. Transgender youth make up less than 2 percent of the population, according to recent estimates. And trans athletes are even fewer. Last month, the Associated Press reached out to sponsors of these anti-trans sports bills in more than 20 states. And many of these sponsors could not cite a single instance in their state or their region where the participation of transgender athletes has caused problems.

Dan, you also mentioned a second set of bills that were related to healthcare. What do those bills do?

So at the same time as we’re seeing these transgender sports bills, legislators in 21 states have introduced bills focused on banning medical care for youth who experience gender dysphoria. And that’s the medical diagnosis for when a person’s gender identity is different from the sex that’s listed on their birth certificates. Some bills, for example, criminalize doctors who provide what trans advocates call gender affirming care to minors. So these are treatments like puberty blockers or hormone therapy.

Dan, can you explain what those treatments are?

Yeah, puberty blockers are exactly what they sound like. So these are medications that temporarily suppress puberty. And the point is to give these kids more time to essentially decide if they want to move forward with a medical transition. And so, these medications will halt the body from, say, developing breasts or facial hair or a deepening voice or menstruating.

So kind of like a pause button.

Exactly. Now, hormone therapies are the next step. If an adolescent wants to continue with their medical transition, they will start taking hormones like estrogen or testosterone. And this type of treatment is a more serious decision, which is why medical guidelines actually recommend that they’re generally not prescribed until the age of 16. Many of these bills also make it illegal for doctors to perform gender affirming surgeries on anyone under the age of 18. But this part is kind of a red herring, because these surgeries are not really done on people under 18.

OK, we’re going to move on to HB 1570. Representative Lundstrom, you are recognized to present your bill.

All of these issues were recently debated in Little Rock, Arkansas, when the state legislature debated its bill.

I want to protect children. And this bill simply states that anyone under 18 in Arkansas is to be protected.

Proponents are saying this bill is needed to protect kids.

Interfering with puberty will always have an impact. You can’t pause normal development without lifetime ramifications.

That these treatments, like puberty blockers and hormone therapies, are experimental and irreversible.

You have to be 18 years of age in this state to get a tattoo without your parents’ permission. You have to be 21 to buy alcohol. To allow children to undergo these types of decisions at such an early age is a mistake.

And that children are too young to make these kinds of decisions before they turn 18.

And it’s my understanding there’s no gender reassignment surgery done on youth in Arkansas anyway. Is that true? No, there is not any surgery done on youth in Arkansas. I’m thankful for that. And hopefully this will draw that line in the sand.

Then, with banning surgery for trans kids, even the sponsor of the bill acknowledged that it never happens.

I mean, are we a solution looking for a problem? No, I don’t think so at all. And I think we need to stop it before it starts. We should never have penises amputated or breasts amputated on children ever.

Dan, who are the people testifying in support of the bill?

Well, in Arkansas, there were two separate hearings of this bill. And in total, six people testified in favor of it. They included someone from the Family Research Council, which is a conservative religious group. There were also a few child psychologists, an anesthesiologist, and an internist. But for some of these experts, it became clear that their experience with these issues was limited.

I have a question for the two doctors. How many patients have you all actually treated with gender dysphoria? In my adolescent medicine practice, it was in the late 1970s. And since I have been primarily doing anesthesia for the last 20 to 30 years, I have not taken care of those patients. So the answer is zero? You’ve never treated a child with gender dysphoria? To be honest, I had enough different patients in my private office. I cannot tell you whether I did or didn’t.

What about the people who spoke out against the bill? Who were they, and what were their arguments?

On the other side, there were over 20 people who spoke out against the legislation. They included several doctors and clinicians who have lots of experience treating kids with gender dysphoria.

There are, ma’am, multiple published standards of care for the treatment of these children. There are multiple guidelines for the treatment of these children.

And they pointed out that most of the studies cited by proponents of the bill have either been debunked or had flawed methodology. In fact, most major medical associations say these treatments are completely safe and recommend them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, not to mention dozens of European pediatric and adult published guidelines, and we follow those guidelines to the letter, because we care about these children and we want to keep them alive and healthy, not just in childhood, but after 18 as well.

And in the case of puberty blockers, there’s a lot of research that has found that the effects are reversible if treatment is suspended.

We’ve been using puberty blockers for 50 years. And there’s copious, copious numbers of publications showing that the use of puberty blockers in very young children for lengths of time of up to and over 10 years is safe.

What else do the people testifying against the bill say?

They also pointed out that these children aren’t making decisions to undergo treatment on their own. These decisions are always made in tandem with parents and doctors over a long period of time.

Teens don’t get to decide if they start cross sex hormones under 18. It is a team approach. For the teens that I know, it’s at least a six-month collaborative process to evaluate if medical intervention would be beneficial before they start medicines.

These kids are getting therapy. They’re getting medically tested to make sure that they’re healthy. And beyond these arguments, they say the bigger concern here is how this bill, if it becomes law, will affect trans youths’ mental health.

I’m doing everything I can to maintain my sanity here. I’ve had multiple children— do you know how many phone calls I’ve had to field in the last week of children calling me, saying, Dr. Hutchison, if this happens, I’m going to kill myself. Multiple.

Studies have shown that trans youth have a disproportionately high rate of attempted suicide, anywhere between 30 percent and 50 percent.

Yeah, but what studies also show is that transgender youth who are supported by their families in their transitions experience notably lower rates of depression. And transgender people who were treated with puberty suppressants during adolescence had lowered lifetime risks of suicide as adults. And so trans advocates and doctors, like the ones in Arkansas, are saying this kind of medical treatment is lifesaving and necessary.

So I guarantee you, if this bill passes, children will die. And I will call you guys every single time one does. All right, thank you for your testimony.

So, Dan, it sounds like trans youth are a very, very small proportion of the population. And trans athletes are an even smaller proportion of the population. And the medical treatments we’re talking about here seem to help, not hurt. So I guess, I’m kind of wondering, what is the point of these bills? And why are we seeing so many of them right now?

Well, I think the short answer is politics. These bills and their focus on transgender youth are, in many ways, part of a much larger strategy on the part of the conservative right and are just the latest battle in a very long history of culture wars.

Dan, how did we get here? You mentioned history earlier.

So the place to start is really in the 1970s when the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that abortion was legal. That Supreme Court decision really kind of kickstarted what we have come to think of as the modern era of culture wars. And then, in the ‘90s and early 2000s, same sex marriage became the central issue in the culture wars. And in both of these battles, gender and sexuality were used as a wedge issue pretty much by Republicans and social conservatives to animate their base. So what we’re seeing now is that transgender rights have really taken center stage when it comes to these kind of culture clashes.

So Dan, what was the opening bell of this next culture war battle?

So I would say the first major clash happened in 2016—

The political and social struggle over bathrooms and gender blew up today. The spark came—

—when North Carolina was thrust into the epicenter of the nation’s culture wars after the Republican-controlled legislature passed this bill that would bar transgender people from using public bathrooms that did not correspond with the gender on their birth certificate.

North Carolina passed a bill requiring transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex listed on their birth certificate.

And that bill also made it illegal for municipalities to adopt anti-discrimination policies intended to protect LGBT people.

Dan, what was the argument at the time?

Well, joining us now first on CNBC, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest. Mr. Forest, good morning.

Republican lawmakers who were supporting these bathroom bills were saying that they were needed to protect women and girls from predatory men.

Governments’ first and foremost priority is the protection of its citizens, and especially the protection of women and children. And that’s all—

And that this was vital for protecting traditional values. But ultimately, it backfired. And so when North Carolina passed those measures, the law drew nationwide outrage.

I am not defined by the gender on my birth certificate. I am defined by myself.

And unleashed severe economic consequences for North Carolina.

PayPal says it is now cancelling plans to bring more than 400 jobs with its new operation center.

You had major companies like PayPal cancelling expansions in the state.

Breaking news tonight from the N.B.A. Late today, the league announcing it is pulling next year’s All-Star game out of Charlotte.

The N.B.A. and the N.C.A.A. moved events to other states. And there was such a kind of formidable backlash that the Republican governor actually lost his re-election bid.

The first sitting North Carolina Governor to lose a re-election bid, that’s partly because of backlash from the divisive HB 2 bathroom bill he signed.

And faced with the loss of billions of dollars in lawsuits, the state eventually repealed that ban.

So what happened after North Carolina repealed the law?

Social conservative activists kind of honed their packaging of transgender specific restrictions with messages that were, in many cases, borrowed from the fights over abortion and same sex marriage.

So, with these previous battles, so much of the messaging around the need for these kind of restrictions around sexuality and abortion was that children needed to be protected. So with abortion, it was about protecting the unborn. And with same sex marriage, the thinking was that same sex marriage is bad for children, that children need a mother and a father. And many of the conservative groups that were involved in these previous battles are also at the center of this current wave of anti-transgender legislation. Among these groups are the Alliance Defending Freedom. There’s another group called the American Principles Project. These are social conservative groups that really focus at this point on anti-LGBT causes and whose interests really benefit by partnering with Republican lawmakers.

So what’s the strategy we’re seeing right now with this new set of bills focused on transgender children?

So, as I mentioned, right, they pretty much learned their lessons from these earlier fights and honed their messaging. And in the case of the sports bills, this is pretty much a result of focus groups and poll testing that found that people were more supportive of anti-trans bills when they centered on the issue of sports and fair competition. Because they were able to see that when they emphasized fairness, that that made people think that it was then unfair for a lot of other athletes, specifically women and girls.

And another thing that I think is worth mentioning is that many of these states where we’re seeing these bills have been firmly controlled by Republicans for a long time. These lawmakers aren’t really worried about the general election. But they are worried about the primaries, and specifically, about being challenged from the right. And so I think in a lot of these Republican-controlled legislatures, these are hot button social issues that can be seen as easy political wins. They can go back to their base of voters and say, I voted on this issue the way that you wanted me to. And I do think that’s part of why we’re really seeing these bills gathering steam around the country.

Dan, how many of these bills have passed this year?

Well, three states. Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas have already signed transgender sports bans into law this year. And there are several states right now where this legislation is actually moving very quickly. And in some cases, like in Alabama and North Dakota, the bills are awaiting the governor’s signature.

And Dan, what about the bans on transgender healthcare?

Last month, the Arkansas legislature became the first in the nation to ban medical care for transgender youth. The governor, who is very conservative, had actually signed the trans athlete ban in another bill that allows medical providers to refuse care for trans youth on moral or religious grounds. Well, he actually vetoed this transgender healthcare bill because he said that it was government overreach and interfered with parental rights. But the legislature was able to override his veto.

Hm, interesting that a Republican governor would veto it.

Yeah, I mean, I think that given what happened with the bathroom bill in North Carolina, you were seeing Republican governors getting really anxious about what the backlash might be.

So, Dan, I guess the question in my mind right now is, is this just pure politics on the part of these state lawmakers, or is this a bunch of new legislation that really has legal staying power and could really profoundly affect people’s lives?

So it’s not really clear. But last year, when Idaho became the first state in the nation to pass a trans athlete ban, a federal judge very quickly blocked that law from going into effect. So what we do know is that there are going to be many legal battles over these laws in the future. Whether the courts and the Supreme Court side with Republicans on these laws is an open question. But what we have seen is that whether or not these bills pass, they are actually having a major impact on transgender youth and their families.

State your name and where you’re from. And you only have two minutes. Yes, ma’am. All right. My name is Cash Ashley. I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas. I was born and raised here. I am also a trans man.

And the real worry is that these bills will only further stigmatize and isolate some of the most vulnerable youth in the country.

Those of you who support this bill are the ones experimenting with the lives of young trans people by testing whether or not they can survive the onslaught of horrors through which you are subjecting them.

One of my sons is transgender. And, like, you guys are not seeing and not trying to see is how difficult it is for a person who is transgender before they are acknowledged and believed and supported. Sorry, this is very emotional.

But, you know, instead of sitting here and telling you all the bad things that have happened to me as a trans woman and sitting here and laying out my trauma, I just want to tell you how happy transitioning and living in my truth has made me. Without that, I probably wouldn’t be here.

I’m going to first speak directly to Arkansas’s transgender youth with a love of a real father. You are loved. No matter what happens here today, you are loved. We will prevail against this hatred. Stay alive, no matter what.

The world is already a hostile place towards trans people, especially trans youth. Please don’t actively choose to additionally instill violence by creating barriers to care, which is what this will do. Trans people have always been here. We will always be here. And you cannot erase us. Please stop trying.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

Essentially, what the state has to convince you is that the evidence in this case completely eliminates any reasonable doubt, or in other words, leaving only unreasonable doubt.

In closing arguments on Monday, lawyers for Derek Chauvin told jurors that the former Minneapolis police officer had acted reasonably when he knelt on George Floyd for more than nine minutes and said that the legal bar for holding Chauvin responsible for Floyd’s death is high.

Start from the point of the presumption of innocence and see how far the state can get. I submit to you that the state has failed to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

In their closing argument, prosecutors said that Chauvin had applied deadly restraint to a defenseless man and that they had proven his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video. It is exactly that. You can believe your eyes. It’s what you felt in your gut. It’s what you now know in your heart.

The prosecutors urged jurors to use their common sense and convict Chuavin.

This wasn’t policing, this was murder. The defendant is guilty of all three counts— all of them. And there’s no excuse.

The case is now in the hands of the jury. And—

archived recording (joe biden)

Folks, I have good news. Everybody is eligible as of today to get the vaccine.

President Biden announced that all adults in every U.S. state, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, meeting the deadline of April 19 that Biden had set two weeks ago.

archived recording (joe biden)

We have enough of it. You need to be protected. And you need in turn to protect your neighbors and your family.

In a recorded message, Biden trumpeted the milestone and pleaded with unvaccinated adults to seek out doses.

archived recording (joe biden)

So, please, get the vaccine.

More than half of all American adults, 132 million people, have now received at least one vaccine dose. And about 85 million people have been fully vaccinated.

Today’s episode was produced by Sydney Harper, Eric Krupke, and Asthaa Chaturvedi. It was edited by Anita Badejo and engineered by Chris Wood. Special thanks to Priya Arora.


'Racy' North Dakota Ad Sparks Controversy - Recipes

From The New York Times, I’m Michael Barbaro. This is The Daily.

Just four months into 2021, Republican state lawmakers across the country have already proposed more bills restricting the lives of transgender youth than in any previous year. Today, Sabrina Tavernise spoke with our colleague, Dan Levin, about what’s behind these bills and the impact they could have on the children and families that they target.

So, Dan, can you start by telling us what are these bills we’ve been seeing around the country?

So, the big national picture is, since January, in often Republican-controlled legislatures in over 30 states, lawmakers have introduced more than 80 bills that focus on the rights of transgender youth. And these bills kind of fall into two main baskets. The first focus is on trans youth in sports. And the other big basket of bills is around transgender medical care.

So, Dan, let’s start with the first basket. Tell me about the sports bills.

So these bills have been introduced in states from Texas to Florida to West Virginia, Kansas, and Missouri. And the major focus of these transgender sports bills is that they aim to prevent transgender athletes, and really, in most of these cases, transgender women and girls from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity.

So let me make sure I understand this. This would bar a girl who was called male at birth from playing on a female soccer team.

Exactly. These bills would ban transgender girls on a high school soccer team or a middle school soccer team or in a college team from playing on women’s teams.

And what is the argument lawmakers are making for this?

This is about equality. It’s also about a chaos that’s permeating our country.

The main argument of proponents of these bills is that they’re all about ensuring fair competition in sports.

I’ve got daughters and granddaughters who compete in sports. And I know that if they had a situation where they were faced with competing against a biological male, what would be the point?

They say that women and girls might be physically outmatched by transgender women and girls.

This important piece of legislation will ensure that young girls in Mississippi have a fair level playing field in public school sports.

And so the government needs to proactively step in and protect women and girls in sports.

And I also believe that it’s discrimination for women to not pass this.

Dan, is there any truth to the argument that trans women have certain advantages in sports? Tell me about that.

So this is a highly debated question. And there isn’t enough research done on transgender athletes to say definitively. But what we do know is that the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that kids should play on sports teams that match their gender identity. And sports associations like the N.C.A.A. and the International Olympic Committee already have policies in place to really ensure that athletics can be inclusive of transgender women, while also ensuring fair competition.

Many school athletics associations are saying this is not really an issue. And they have come out against these bills, saying they are based on stereotypes and are actually not really needed. And trans advocates also say that these bills are incredibly invasive in that many of them would allow anyone to contest a student athlete’s gender. And that student would then be required to undergo, say, a genital exam, other kind of testing that would just be incredibly stigmatizing and invasive.

Wow. How often does this question of transgender athletes playing on sports teams even come up, Dan? Are there a lot of schools encountering this?

There really aren’t. Transgender youth make up less than 2 percent of the population, according to recent estimates. And trans athletes are even fewer. Last month, the Associated Press reached out to sponsors of these anti-trans sports bills in more than 20 states. And many of these sponsors could not cite a single instance in their state or their region where the participation of transgender athletes has caused problems.

Dan, you also mentioned a second set of bills that were related to healthcare. What do those bills do?

So at the same time as we’re seeing these transgender sports bills, legislators in 21 states have introduced bills focused on banning medical care for youth who experience gender dysphoria. And that’s the medical diagnosis for when a person’s gender identity is different from the sex that’s listed on their birth certificates. Some bills, for example, criminalize doctors who provide what trans advocates call gender affirming care to minors. So these are treatments like puberty blockers or hormone therapy.

Dan, can you explain what those treatments are?

Yeah, puberty blockers are exactly what they sound like. So these are medications that temporarily suppress puberty. And the point is to give these kids more time to essentially decide if they want to move forward with a medical transition. And so, these medications will halt the body from, say, developing breasts or facial hair or a deepening voice or menstruating.

So kind of like a pause button.

Exactly. Now, hormone therapies are the next step. If an adolescent wants to continue with their medical transition, they will start taking hormones like estrogen or testosterone. And this type of treatment is a more serious decision, which is why medical guidelines actually recommend that they’re generally not prescribed until the age of 16. Many of these bills also make it illegal for doctors to perform gender affirming surgeries on anyone under the age of 18. But this part is kind of a red herring, because these surgeries are not really done on people under 18.

OK, we’re going to move on to HB 1570. Representative Lundstrom, you are recognized to present your bill.

All of these issues were recently debated in Little Rock, Arkansas, when the state legislature debated its bill.

I want to protect children. And this bill simply states that anyone under 18 in Arkansas is to be protected.

Proponents are saying this bill is needed to protect kids.

Interfering with puberty will always have an impact. You can’t pause normal development without lifetime ramifications.

That these treatments, like puberty blockers and hormone therapies, are experimental and irreversible.

You have to be 18 years of age in this state to get a tattoo without your parents’ permission. You have to be 21 to buy alcohol. To allow children to undergo these types of decisions at such an early age is a mistake.

And that children are too young to make these kinds of decisions before they turn 18.

And it’s my understanding there’s no gender reassignment surgery done on youth in Arkansas anyway. Is that true? No, there is not any surgery done on youth in Arkansas. I’m thankful for that. And hopefully this will draw that line in the sand.

Then, with banning surgery for trans kids, even the sponsor of the bill acknowledged that it never happens.

I mean, are we a solution looking for a problem? No, I don’t think so at all. And I think we need to stop it before it starts. We should never have penises amputated or breasts amputated on children ever.

Dan, who are the people testifying in support of the bill?

Well, in Arkansas, there were two separate hearings of this bill. And in total, six people testified in favor of it. They included someone from the Family Research Council, which is a conservative religious group. There were also a few child psychologists, an anesthesiologist, and an internist. But for some of these experts, it became clear that their experience with these issues was limited.

I have a question for the two doctors. How many patients have you all actually treated with gender dysphoria? In my adolescent medicine practice, it was in the late 1970s. And since I have been primarily doing anesthesia for the last 20 to 30 years, I have not taken care of those patients. So the answer is zero? You’ve never treated a child with gender dysphoria? To be honest, I had enough different patients in my private office. I cannot tell you whether I did or didn’t.

What about the people who spoke out against the bill? Who were they, and what were their arguments?

On the other side, there were over 20 people who spoke out against the legislation. They included several doctors and clinicians who have lots of experience treating kids with gender dysphoria.

There are, ma’am, multiple published standards of care for the treatment of these children. There are multiple guidelines for the treatment of these children.

And they pointed out that most of the studies cited by proponents of the bill have either been debunked or had flawed methodology. In fact, most major medical associations say these treatments are completely safe and recommend them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, not to mention dozens of European pediatric and adult published guidelines, and we follow those guidelines to the letter, because we care about these children and we want to keep them alive and healthy, not just in childhood, but after 18 as well.

And in the case of puberty blockers, there’s a lot of research that has found that the effects are reversible if treatment is suspended.

We’ve been using puberty blockers for 50 years. And there’s copious, copious numbers of publications showing that the use of puberty blockers in very young children for lengths of time of up to and over 10 years is safe.

What else do the people testifying against the bill say?

They also pointed out that these children aren’t making decisions to undergo treatment on their own. These decisions are always made in tandem with parents and doctors over a long period of time.

Teens don’t get to decide if they start cross sex hormones under 18. It is a team approach. For the teens that I know, it’s at least a six-month collaborative process to evaluate if medical intervention would be beneficial before they start medicines.

These kids are getting therapy. They’re getting medically tested to make sure that they’re healthy. And beyond these arguments, they say the bigger concern here is how this bill, if it becomes law, will affect trans youths’ mental health.

I’m doing everything I can to maintain my sanity here. I’ve had multiple children— do you know how many phone calls I’ve had to field in the last week of children calling me, saying, Dr. Hutchison, if this happens, I’m going to kill myself. Multiple.

Studies have shown that trans youth have a disproportionately high rate of attempted suicide, anywhere between 30 percent and 50 percent.

Yeah, but what studies also show is that transgender youth who are supported by their families in their transitions experience notably lower rates of depression. And transgender people who were treated with puberty suppressants during adolescence had lowered lifetime risks of suicide as adults. And so trans advocates and doctors, like the ones in Arkansas, are saying this kind of medical treatment is lifesaving and necessary.

So I guarantee you, if this bill passes, children will die. And I will call you guys every single time one does. All right, thank you for your testimony.

So, Dan, it sounds like trans youth are a very, very small proportion of the population. And trans athletes are an even smaller proportion of the population. And the medical treatments we’re talking about here seem to help, not hurt. So I guess, I’m kind of wondering, what is the point of these bills? And why are we seeing so many of them right now?

Well, I think the short answer is politics. These bills and their focus on transgender youth are, in many ways, part of a much larger strategy on the part of the conservative right and are just the latest battle in a very long history of culture wars.

Dan, how did we get here? You mentioned history earlier.

So the place to start is really in the 1970s when the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that abortion was legal. That Supreme Court decision really kind of kickstarted what we have come to think of as the modern era of culture wars. And then, in the ‘90s and early 2000s, same sex marriage became the central issue in the culture wars. And in both of these battles, gender and sexuality were used as a wedge issue pretty much by Republicans and social conservatives to animate their base. So what we’re seeing now is that transgender rights have really taken center stage when it comes to these kind of culture clashes.

So Dan, what was the opening bell of this next culture war battle?

So I would say the first major clash happened in 2016—

The political and social struggle over bathrooms and gender blew up today. The spark came—

—when North Carolina was thrust into the epicenter of the nation’s culture wars after the Republican-controlled legislature passed this bill that would bar transgender people from using public bathrooms that did not correspond with the gender on their birth certificate.

North Carolina passed a bill requiring transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex listed on their birth certificate.

And that bill also made it illegal for municipalities to adopt anti-discrimination policies intended to protect LGBT people.

Dan, what was the argument at the time?

Well, joining us now first on CNBC, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest. Mr. Forest, good morning.

Republican lawmakers who were supporting these bathroom bills were saying that they were needed to protect women and girls from predatory men.

Governments’ first and foremost priority is the protection of its citizens, and especially the protection of women and children. And that’s all—

And that this was vital for protecting traditional values. But ultimately, it backfired. And so when North Carolina passed those measures, the law drew nationwide outrage.

I am not defined by the gender on my birth certificate. I am defined by myself.

And unleashed severe economic consequences for North Carolina.

PayPal says it is now cancelling plans to bring more than 400 jobs with its new operation center.

You had major companies like PayPal cancelling expansions in the state.

Breaking news tonight from the N.B.A. Late today, the league announcing it is pulling next year’s All-Star game out of Charlotte.

The N.B.A. and the N.C.A.A. moved events to other states. And there was such a kind of formidable backlash that the Republican governor actually lost his re-election bid.

The first sitting North Carolina Governor to lose a re-election bid, that’s partly because of backlash from the divisive HB 2 bathroom bill he signed.

And faced with the loss of billions of dollars in lawsuits, the state eventually repealed that ban.

So what happened after North Carolina repealed the law?

Social conservative activists kind of honed their packaging of transgender specific restrictions with messages that were, in many cases, borrowed from the fights over abortion and same sex marriage.

So, with these previous battles, so much of the messaging around the need for these kind of restrictions around sexuality and abortion was that children needed to be protected. So with abortion, it was about protecting the unborn. And with same sex marriage, the thinking was that same sex marriage is bad for children, that children need a mother and a father. And many of the conservative groups that were involved in these previous battles are also at the center of this current wave of anti-transgender legislation. Among these groups are the Alliance Defending Freedom. There’s another group called the American Principles Project. These are social conservative groups that really focus at this point on anti-LGBT causes and whose interests really benefit by partnering with Republican lawmakers.

So what’s the strategy we’re seeing right now with this new set of bills focused on transgender children?

So, as I mentioned, right, they pretty much learned their lessons from these earlier fights and honed their messaging. And in the case of the sports bills, this is pretty much a result of focus groups and poll testing that found that people were more supportive of anti-trans bills when they centered on the issue of sports and fair competition. Because they were able to see that when they emphasized fairness, that that made people think that it was then unfair for a lot of other athletes, specifically women and girls.

And another thing that I think is worth mentioning is that many of these states where we’re seeing these bills have been firmly controlled by Republicans for a long time. These lawmakers aren’t really worried about the general election. But they are worried about the primaries, and specifically, about being challenged from the right. And so I think in a lot of these Republican-controlled legislatures, these are hot button social issues that can be seen as easy political wins. They can go back to their base of voters and say, I voted on this issue the way that you wanted me to. And I do think that’s part of why we’re really seeing these bills gathering steam around the country.

Dan, how many of these bills have passed this year?

Well, three states. Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas have already signed transgender sports bans into law this year. And there are several states right now where this legislation is actually moving very quickly. And in some cases, like in Alabama and North Dakota, the bills are awaiting the governor’s signature.

And Dan, what about the bans on transgender healthcare?

Last month, the Arkansas legislature became the first in the nation to ban medical care for transgender youth. The governor, who is very conservative, had actually signed the trans athlete ban in another bill that allows medical providers to refuse care for trans youth on moral or religious grounds. Well, he actually vetoed this transgender healthcare bill because he said that it was government overreach and interfered with parental rights. But the legislature was able to override his veto.

Hm, interesting that a Republican governor would veto it.

Yeah, I mean, I think that given what happened with the bathroom bill in North Carolina, you were seeing Republican governors getting really anxious about what the backlash might be.

So, Dan, I guess the question in my mind right now is, is this just pure politics on the part of these state lawmakers, or is this a bunch of new legislation that really has legal staying power and could really profoundly affect people’s lives?

So it’s not really clear. But last year, when Idaho became the first state in the nation to pass a trans athlete ban, a federal judge very quickly blocked that law from going into effect. So what we do know is that there are going to be many legal battles over these laws in the future. Whether the courts and the Supreme Court side with Republicans on these laws is an open question. But what we have seen is that whether or not these bills pass, they are actually having a major impact on transgender youth and their families.

State your name and where you’re from. And you only have two minutes. Yes, ma’am. All right. My name is Cash Ashley. I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas. I was born and raised here. I am also a trans man.

And the real worry is that these bills will only further stigmatize and isolate some of the most vulnerable youth in the country.

Those of you who support this bill are the ones experimenting with the lives of young trans people by testing whether or not they can survive the onslaught of horrors through which you are subjecting them.

One of my sons is transgender. And, like, you guys are not seeing and not trying to see is how difficult it is for a person who is transgender before they are acknowledged and believed and supported. Sorry, this is very emotional.

But, you know, instead of sitting here and telling you all the bad things that have happened to me as a trans woman and sitting here and laying out my trauma, I just want to tell you how happy transitioning and living in my truth has made me. Without that, I probably wouldn’t be here.

I’m going to first speak directly to Arkansas’s transgender youth with a love of a real father. You are loved. No matter what happens here today, you are loved. We will prevail against this hatred. Stay alive, no matter what.

The world is already a hostile place towards trans people, especially trans youth. Please don’t actively choose to additionally instill violence by creating barriers to care, which is what this will do. Trans people have always been here. We will always be here. And you cannot erase us. Please stop trying.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

Essentially, what the state has to convince you is that the evidence in this case completely eliminates any reasonable doubt, or in other words, leaving only unreasonable doubt.

In closing arguments on Monday, lawyers for Derek Chauvin told jurors that the former Minneapolis police officer had acted reasonably when he knelt on George Floyd for more than nine minutes and said that the legal bar for holding Chauvin responsible for Floyd’s death is high.

Start from the point of the presumption of innocence and see how far the state can get. I submit to you that the state has failed to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

In their closing argument, prosecutors said that Chauvin had applied deadly restraint to a defenseless man and that they had proven his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video. It is exactly that. You can believe your eyes. It’s what you felt in your gut. It’s what you now know in your heart.

The prosecutors urged jurors to use their common sense and convict Chuavin.

This wasn’t policing, this was murder. The defendant is guilty of all three counts— all of them. And there’s no excuse.

The case is now in the hands of the jury. And—

archived recording (joe biden)

Folks, I have good news. Everybody is eligible as of today to get the vaccine.

President Biden announced that all adults in every U.S. state, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, meeting the deadline of April 19 that Biden had set two weeks ago.

archived recording (joe biden)

We have enough of it. You need to be protected. And you need in turn to protect your neighbors and your family.

In a recorded message, Biden trumpeted the milestone and pleaded with unvaccinated adults to seek out doses.

archived recording (joe biden)

So, please, get the vaccine.

More than half of all American adults, 132 million people, have now received at least one vaccine dose. And about 85 million people have been fully vaccinated.

Today’s episode was produced by Sydney Harper, Eric Krupke, and Asthaa Chaturvedi. It was edited by Anita Badejo and engineered by Chris Wood. Special thanks to Priya Arora.


'Racy' North Dakota Ad Sparks Controversy - Recipes

From The New York Times, I’m Michael Barbaro. This is The Daily.

Just four months into 2021, Republican state lawmakers across the country have already proposed more bills restricting the lives of transgender youth than in any previous year. Today, Sabrina Tavernise spoke with our colleague, Dan Levin, about what’s behind these bills and the impact they could have on the children and families that they target.

So, Dan, can you start by telling us what are these bills we’ve been seeing around the country?

So, the big national picture is, since January, in often Republican-controlled legislatures in over 30 states, lawmakers have introduced more than 80 bills that focus on the rights of transgender youth. And these bills kind of fall into two main baskets. The first focus is on trans youth in sports. And the other big basket of bills is around transgender medical care.

So, Dan, let’s start with the first basket. Tell me about the sports bills.

So these bills have been introduced in states from Texas to Florida to West Virginia, Kansas, and Missouri. And the major focus of these transgender sports bills is that they aim to prevent transgender athletes, and really, in most of these cases, transgender women and girls from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity.

So let me make sure I understand this. This would bar a girl who was called male at birth from playing on a female soccer team.

Exactly. These bills would ban transgender girls on a high school soccer team or a middle school soccer team or in a college team from playing on women’s teams.

And what is the argument lawmakers are making for this?

This is about equality. It’s also about a chaos that’s permeating our country.

The main argument of proponents of these bills is that they’re all about ensuring fair competition in sports.

I’ve got daughters and granddaughters who compete in sports. And I know that if they had a situation where they were faced with competing against a biological male, what would be the point?

They say that women and girls might be physically outmatched by transgender women and girls.

This important piece of legislation will ensure that young girls in Mississippi have a fair level playing field in public school sports.

And so the government needs to proactively step in and protect women and girls in sports.

And I also believe that it’s discrimination for women to not pass this.

Dan, is there any truth to the argument that trans women have certain advantages in sports? Tell me about that.

So this is a highly debated question. And there isn’t enough research done on transgender athletes to say definitively. But what we do know is that the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that kids should play on sports teams that match their gender identity. And sports associations like the N.C.A.A. and the International Olympic Committee already have policies in place to really ensure that athletics can be inclusive of transgender women, while also ensuring fair competition.

Many school athletics associations are saying this is not really an issue. And they have come out against these bills, saying they are based on stereotypes and are actually not really needed. And trans advocates also say that these bills are incredibly invasive in that many of them would allow anyone to contest a student athlete’s gender. And that student would then be required to undergo, say, a genital exam, other kind of testing that would just be incredibly stigmatizing and invasive.

Wow. How often does this question of transgender athletes playing on sports teams even come up, Dan? Are there a lot of schools encountering this?

There really aren’t. Transgender youth make up less than 2 percent of the population, according to recent estimates. And trans athletes are even fewer. Last month, the Associated Press reached out to sponsors of these anti-trans sports bills in more than 20 states. And many of these sponsors could not cite a single instance in their state or their region where the participation of transgender athletes has caused problems.

Dan, you also mentioned a second set of bills that were related to healthcare. What do those bills do?

So at the same time as we’re seeing these transgender sports bills, legislators in 21 states have introduced bills focused on banning medical care for youth who experience gender dysphoria. And that’s the medical diagnosis for when a person’s gender identity is different from the sex that’s listed on their birth certificates. Some bills, for example, criminalize doctors who provide what trans advocates call gender affirming care to minors. So these are treatments like puberty blockers or hormone therapy.

Dan, can you explain what those treatments are?

Yeah, puberty blockers are exactly what they sound like. So these are medications that temporarily suppress puberty. And the point is to give these kids more time to essentially decide if they want to move forward with a medical transition. And so, these medications will halt the body from, say, developing breasts or facial hair or a deepening voice or menstruating.

So kind of like a pause button.

Exactly. Now, hormone therapies are the next step. If an adolescent wants to continue with their medical transition, they will start taking hormones like estrogen or testosterone. And this type of treatment is a more serious decision, which is why medical guidelines actually recommend that they’re generally not prescribed until the age of 16. Many of these bills also make it illegal for doctors to perform gender affirming surgeries on anyone under the age of 18. But this part is kind of a red herring, because these surgeries are not really done on people under 18.

OK, we’re going to move on to HB 1570. Representative Lundstrom, you are recognized to present your bill.

All of these issues were recently debated in Little Rock, Arkansas, when the state legislature debated its bill.

I want to protect children. And this bill simply states that anyone under 18 in Arkansas is to be protected.

Proponents are saying this bill is needed to protect kids.

Interfering with puberty will always have an impact. You can’t pause normal development without lifetime ramifications.

That these treatments, like puberty blockers and hormone therapies, are experimental and irreversible.

You have to be 18 years of age in this state to get a tattoo without your parents’ permission. You have to be 21 to buy alcohol. To allow children to undergo these types of decisions at such an early age is a mistake.

And that children are too young to make these kinds of decisions before they turn 18.

And it’s my understanding there’s no gender reassignment surgery done on youth in Arkansas anyway. Is that true? No, there is not any surgery done on youth in Arkansas. I’m thankful for that. And hopefully this will draw that line in the sand.

Then, with banning surgery for trans kids, even the sponsor of the bill acknowledged that it never happens.

I mean, are we a solution looking for a problem? No, I don’t think so at all. And I think we need to stop it before it starts. We should never have penises amputated or breasts amputated on children ever.

Dan, who are the people testifying in support of the bill?

Well, in Arkansas, there were two separate hearings of this bill. And in total, six people testified in favor of it. They included someone from the Family Research Council, which is a conservative religious group. There were also a few child psychologists, an anesthesiologist, and an internist. But for some of these experts, it became clear that their experience with these issues was limited.

I have a question for the two doctors. How many patients have you all actually treated with gender dysphoria? In my adolescent medicine practice, it was in the late 1970s. And since I have been primarily doing anesthesia for the last 20 to 30 years, I have not taken care of those patients. So the answer is zero? You’ve never treated a child with gender dysphoria? To be honest, I had enough different patients in my private office. I cannot tell you whether I did or didn’t.

What about the people who spoke out against the bill? Who were they, and what were their arguments?

On the other side, there were over 20 people who spoke out against the legislation. They included several doctors and clinicians who have lots of experience treating kids with gender dysphoria.

There are, ma’am, multiple published standards of care for the treatment of these children. There are multiple guidelines for the treatment of these children.

And they pointed out that most of the studies cited by proponents of the bill have either been debunked or had flawed methodology. In fact, most major medical associations say these treatments are completely safe and recommend them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, not to mention dozens of European pediatric and adult published guidelines, and we follow those guidelines to the letter, because we care about these children and we want to keep them alive and healthy, not just in childhood, but after 18 as well.

And in the case of puberty blockers, there’s a lot of research that has found that the effects are reversible if treatment is suspended.

We’ve been using puberty blockers for 50 years. And there’s copious, copious numbers of publications showing that the use of puberty blockers in very young children for lengths of time of up to and over 10 years is safe.

What else do the people testifying against the bill say?

They also pointed out that these children aren’t making decisions to undergo treatment on their own. These decisions are always made in tandem with parents and doctors over a long period of time.

Teens don’t get to decide if they start cross sex hormones under 18. It is a team approach. For the teens that I know, it’s at least a six-month collaborative process to evaluate if medical intervention would be beneficial before they start medicines.

These kids are getting therapy. They’re getting medically tested to make sure that they’re healthy. And beyond these arguments, they say the bigger concern here is how this bill, if it becomes law, will affect trans youths’ mental health.

I’m doing everything I can to maintain my sanity here. I’ve had multiple children— do you know how many phone calls I’ve had to field in the last week of children calling me, saying, Dr. Hutchison, if this happens, I’m going to kill myself. Multiple.

Studies have shown that trans youth have a disproportionately high rate of attempted suicide, anywhere between 30 percent and 50 percent.

Yeah, but what studies also show is that transgender youth who are supported by their families in their transitions experience notably lower rates of depression. And transgender people who were treated with puberty suppressants during adolescence had lowered lifetime risks of suicide as adults. And so trans advocates and doctors, like the ones in Arkansas, are saying this kind of medical treatment is lifesaving and necessary.

So I guarantee you, if this bill passes, children will die. And I will call you guys every single time one does. All right, thank you for your testimony.

So, Dan, it sounds like trans youth are a very, very small proportion of the population. And trans athletes are an even smaller proportion of the population. And the medical treatments we’re talking about here seem to help, not hurt. So I guess, I’m kind of wondering, what is the point of these bills? And why are we seeing so many of them right now?

Well, I think the short answer is politics. These bills and their focus on transgender youth are, in many ways, part of a much larger strategy on the part of the conservative right and are just the latest battle in a very long history of culture wars.

Dan, how did we get here? You mentioned history earlier.

So the place to start is really in the 1970s when the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that abortion was legal. That Supreme Court decision really kind of kickstarted what we have come to think of as the modern era of culture wars. And then, in the ‘90s and early 2000s, same sex marriage became the central issue in the culture wars. And in both of these battles, gender and sexuality were used as a wedge issue pretty much by Republicans and social conservatives to animate their base. So what we’re seeing now is that transgender rights have really taken center stage when it comes to these kind of culture clashes.

So Dan, what was the opening bell of this next culture war battle?

So I would say the first major clash happened in 2016—

The political and social struggle over bathrooms and gender blew up today. The spark came—

—when North Carolina was thrust into the epicenter of the nation’s culture wars after the Republican-controlled legislature passed this bill that would bar transgender people from using public bathrooms that did not correspond with the gender on their birth certificate.

North Carolina passed a bill requiring transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex listed on their birth certificate.

And that bill also made it illegal for municipalities to adopt anti-discrimination policies intended to protect LGBT people.

Dan, what was the argument at the time?

Well, joining us now first on CNBC, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest. Mr. Forest, good morning.

Republican lawmakers who were supporting these bathroom bills were saying that they were needed to protect women and girls from predatory men.

Governments’ first and foremost priority is the protection of its citizens, and especially the protection of women and children. And that’s all—

And that this was vital for protecting traditional values. But ultimately, it backfired. And so when North Carolina passed those measures, the law drew nationwide outrage.

I am not defined by the gender on my birth certificate. I am defined by myself.

And unleashed severe economic consequences for North Carolina.

PayPal says it is now cancelling plans to bring more than 400 jobs with its new operation center.

You had major companies like PayPal cancelling expansions in the state.

Breaking news tonight from the N.B.A. Late today, the league announcing it is pulling next year’s All-Star game out of Charlotte.

The N.B.A. and the N.C.A.A. moved events to other states. And there was such a kind of formidable backlash that the Republican governor actually lost his re-election bid.

The first sitting North Carolina Governor to lose a re-election bid, that’s partly because of backlash from the divisive HB 2 bathroom bill he signed.

And faced with the loss of billions of dollars in lawsuits, the state eventually repealed that ban.

So what happened after North Carolina repealed the law?

Social conservative activists kind of honed their packaging of transgender specific restrictions with messages that were, in many cases, borrowed from the fights over abortion and same sex marriage.

So, with these previous battles, so much of the messaging around the need for these kind of restrictions around sexuality and abortion was that children needed to be protected. So with abortion, it was about protecting the unborn. And with same sex marriage, the thinking was that same sex marriage is bad for children, that children need a mother and a father. And many of the conservative groups that were involved in these previous battles are also at the center of this current wave of anti-transgender legislation. Among these groups are the Alliance Defending Freedom. There’s another group called the American Principles Project. These are social conservative groups that really focus at this point on anti-LGBT causes and whose interests really benefit by partnering with Republican lawmakers.

So what’s the strategy we’re seeing right now with this new set of bills focused on transgender children?

So, as I mentioned, right, they pretty much learned their lessons from these earlier fights and honed their messaging. And in the case of the sports bills, this is pretty much a result of focus groups and poll testing that found that people were more supportive of anti-trans bills when they centered on the issue of sports and fair competition. Because they were able to see that when they emphasized fairness, that that made people think that it was then unfair for a lot of other athletes, specifically women and girls.

And another thing that I think is worth mentioning is that many of these states where we’re seeing these bills have been firmly controlled by Republicans for a long time. These lawmakers aren’t really worried about the general election. But they are worried about the primaries, and specifically, about being challenged from the right. And so I think in a lot of these Republican-controlled legislatures, these are hot button social issues that can be seen as easy political wins. They can go back to their base of voters and say, I voted on this issue the way that you wanted me to. And I do think that’s part of why we’re really seeing these bills gathering steam around the country.

Dan, how many of these bills have passed this year?

Well, three states. Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas have already signed transgender sports bans into law this year. And there are several states right now where this legislation is actually moving very quickly. And in some cases, like in Alabama and North Dakota, the bills are awaiting the governor’s signature.

And Dan, what about the bans on transgender healthcare?

Last month, the Arkansas legislature became the first in the nation to ban medical care for transgender youth. The governor, who is very conservative, had actually signed the trans athlete ban in another bill that allows medical providers to refuse care for trans youth on moral or religious grounds. Well, he actually vetoed this transgender healthcare bill because he said that it was government overreach and interfered with parental rights. But the legislature was able to override his veto.

Hm, interesting that a Republican governor would veto it.

Yeah, I mean, I think that given what happened with the bathroom bill in North Carolina, you were seeing Republican governors getting really anxious about what the backlash might be.

So, Dan, I guess the question in my mind right now is, is this just pure politics on the part of these state lawmakers, or is this a bunch of new legislation that really has legal staying power and could really profoundly affect people’s lives?

So it’s not really clear. But last year, when Idaho became the first state in the nation to pass a trans athlete ban, a federal judge very quickly blocked that law from going into effect. So what we do know is that there are going to be many legal battles over these laws in the future. Whether the courts and the Supreme Court side with Republicans on these laws is an open question. But what we have seen is that whether or not these bills pass, they are actually having a major impact on transgender youth and their families.

State your name and where you’re from. And you only have two minutes. Yes, ma’am. All right. My name is Cash Ashley. I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas. I was born and raised here. I am also a trans man.

And the real worry is that these bills will only further stigmatize and isolate some of the most vulnerable youth in the country.

Those of you who support this bill are the ones experimenting with the lives of young trans people by testing whether or not they can survive the onslaught of horrors through which you are subjecting them.

One of my sons is transgender. And, like, you guys are not seeing and not trying to see is how difficult it is for a person who is transgender before they are acknowledged and believed and supported. Sorry, this is very emotional.

But, you know, instead of sitting here and telling you all the bad things that have happened to me as a trans woman and sitting here and laying out my trauma, I just want to tell you how happy transitioning and living in my truth has made me. Without that, I probably wouldn’t be here.

I’m going to first speak directly to Arkansas’s transgender youth with a love of a real father. You are loved. No matter what happens here today, you are loved. We will prevail against this hatred. Stay alive, no matter what.

The world is already a hostile place towards trans people, especially trans youth. Please don’t actively choose to additionally instill violence by creating barriers to care, which is what this will do. Trans people have always been here. We will always be here. And you cannot erase us. Please stop trying.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

Essentially, what the state has to convince you is that the evidence in this case completely eliminates any reasonable doubt, or in other words, leaving only unreasonable doubt.

In closing arguments on Monday, lawyers for Derek Chauvin told jurors that the former Minneapolis police officer had acted reasonably when he knelt on George Floyd for more than nine minutes and said that the legal bar for holding Chauvin responsible for Floyd’s death is high.

Start from the point of the presumption of innocence and see how far the state can get. I submit to you that the state has failed to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

In their closing argument, prosecutors said that Chauvin had applied deadly restraint to a defenseless man and that they had proven his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video. It is exactly that. You can believe your eyes. It’s what you felt in your gut. It’s what you now know in your heart.

The prosecutors urged jurors to use their common sense and convict Chuavin.

This wasn’t policing, this was murder. The defendant is guilty of all three counts— all of them. And there’s no excuse.

The case is now in the hands of the jury. And—

archived recording (joe biden)

Folks, I have good news. Everybody is eligible as of today to get the vaccine.

President Biden announced that all adults in every U.S. state, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, meeting the deadline of April 19 that Biden had set two weeks ago.

archived recording (joe biden)

We have enough of it. You need to be protected. And you need in turn to protect your neighbors and your family.

In a recorded message, Biden trumpeted the milestone and pleaded with unvaccinated adults to seek out doses.

archived recording (joe biden)

So, please, get the vaccine.

More than half of all American adults, 132 million people, have now received at least one vaccine dose. And about 85 million people have been fully vaccinated.

Today’s episode was produced by Sydney Harper, Eric Krupke, and Asthaa Chaturvedi. It was edited by Anita Badejo and engineered by Chris Wood. Special thanks to Priya Arora.


'Racy' North Dakota Ad Sparks Controversy - Recipes

From The New York Times, I’m Michael Barbaro. This is The Daily.

Just four months into 2021, Republican state lawmakers across the country have already proposed more bills restricting the lives of transgender youth than in any previous year. Today, Sabrina Tavernise spoke with our colleague, Dan Levin, about what’s behind these bills and the impact they could have on the children and families that they target.

So, Dan, can you start by telling us what are these bills we’ve been seeing around the country?

So, the big national picture is, since January, in often Republican-controlled legislatures in over 30 states, lawmakers have introduced more than 80 bills that focus on the rights of transgender youth. And these bills kind of fall into two main baskets. The first focus is on trans youth in sports. And the other big basket of bills is around transgender medical care.

So, Dan, let’s start with the first basket. Tell me about the sports bills.

So these bills have been introduced in states from Texas to Florida to West Virginia, Kansas, and Missouri. And the major focus of these transgender sports bills is that they aim to prevent transgender athletes, and really, in most of these cases, transgender women and girls from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity.

So let me make sure I understand this. This would bar a girl who was called male at birth from playing on a female soccer team.

Exactly. These bills would ban transgender girls on a high school soccer team or a middle school soccer team or in a college team from playing on women’s teams.

And what is the argument lawmakers are making for this?

This is about equality. It’s also about a chaos that’s permeating our country.

The main argument of proponents of these bills is that they’re all about ensuring fair competition in sports.

I’ve got daughters and granddaughters who compete in sports. And I know that if they had a situation where they were faced with competing against a biological male, what would be the point?

They say that women and girls might be physically outmatched by transgender women and girls.

This important piece of legislation will ensure that young girls in Mississippi have a fair level playing field in public school sports.

And so the government needs to proactively step in and protect women and girls in sports.

And I also believe that it’s discrimination for women to not pass this.

Dan, is there any truth to the argument that trans women have certain advantages in sports? Tell me about that.

So this is a highly debated question. And there isn’t enough research done on transgender athletes to say definitively. But what we do know is that the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that kids should play on sports teams that match their gender identity. And sports associations like the N.C.A.A. and the International Olympic Committee already have policies in place to really ensure that athletics can be inclusive of transgender women, while also ensuring fair competition.

Many school athletics associations are saying this is not really an issue. And they have come out against these bills, saying they are based on stereotypes and are actually not really needed. And trans advocates also say that these bills are incredibly invasive in that many of them would allow anyone to contest a student athlete’s gender. And that student would then be required to undergo, say, a genital exam, other kind of testing that would just be incredibly stigmatizing and invasive.

Wow. How often does this question of transgender athletes playing on sports teams even come up, Dan? Are there a lot of schools encountering this?

There really aren’t. Transgender youth make up less than 2 percent of the population, according to recent estimates. And trans athletes are even fewer. Last month, the Associated Press reached out to sponsors of these anti-trans sports bills in more than 20 states. And many of these sponsors could not cite a single instance in their state or their region where the participation of transgender athletes has caused problems.

Dan, you also mentioned a second set of bills that were related to healthcare. What do those bills do?

So at the same time as we’re seeing these transgender sports bills, legislators in 21 states have introduced bills focused on banning medical care for youth who experience gender dysphoria. And that’s the medical diagnosis for when a person’s gender identity is different from the sex that’s listed on their birth certificates. Some bills, for example, criminalize doctors who provide what trans advocates call gender affirming care to minors. So these are treatments like puberty blockers or hormone therapy.

Dan, can you explain what those treatments are?

Yeah, puberty blockers are exactly what they sound like. So these are medications that temporarily suppress puberty. And the point is to give these kids more time to essentially decide if they want to move forward with a medical transition. And so, these medications will halt the body from, say, developing breasts or facial hair or a deepening voice or menstruating.

So kind of like a pause button.

Exactly. Now, hormone therapies are the next step. If an adolescent wants to continue with their medical transition, they will start taking hormones like estrogen or testosterone. And this type of treatment is a more serious decision, which is why medical guidelines actually recommend that they’re generally not prescribed until the age of 16. Many of these bills also make it illegal for doctors to perform gender affirming surgeries on anyone under the age of 18. But this part is kind of a red herring, because these surgeries are not really done on people under 18.

OK, we’re going to move on to HB 1570. Representative Lundstrom, you are recognized to present your bill.

All of these issues were recently debated in Little Rock, Arkansas, when the state legislature debated its bill.

I want to protect children. And this bill simply states that anyone under 18 in Arkansas is to be protected.

Proponents are saying this bill is needed to protect kids.

Interfering with puberty will always have an impact. You can’t pause normal development without lifetime ramifications.

That these treatments, like puberty blockers and hormone therapies, are experimental and irreversible.

You have to be 18 years of age in this state to get a tattoo without your parents’ permission. You have to be 21 to buy alcohol. To allow children to undergo these types of decisions at such an early age is a mistake.

And that children are too young to make these kinds of decisions before they turn 18.

And it’s my understanding there’s no gender reassignment surgery done on youth in Arkansas anyway. Is that true? No, there is not any surgery done on youth in Arkansas. I’m thankful for that. And hopefully this will draw that line in the sand.

Then, with banning surgery for trans kids, even the sponsor of the bill acknowledged that it never happens.

I mean, are we a solution looking for a problem? No, I don’t think so at all. And I think we need to stop it before it starts. We should never have penises amputated or breasts amputated on children ever.

Dan, who are the people testifying in support of the bill?

Well, in Arkansas, there were two separate hearings of this bill. And in total, six people testified in favor of it. They included someone from the Family Research Council, which is a conservative religious group. There were also a few child psychologists, an anesthesiologist, and an internist. But for some of these experts, it became clear that their experience with these issues was limited.

I have a question for the two doctors. How many patients have you all actually treated with gender dysphoria? In my adolescent medicine practice, it was in the late 1970s. And since I have been primarily doing anesthesia for the last 20 to 30 years, I have not taken care of those patients. So the answer is zero? You’ve never treated a child with gender dysphoria? To be honest, I had enough different patients in my private office. I cannot tell you whether I did or didn’t.

What about the people who spoke out against the bill? Who were they, and what were their arguments?

On the other side, there were over 20 people who spoke out against the legislation. They included several doctors and clinicians who have lots of experience treating kids with gender dysphoria.

There are, ma’am, multiple published standards of care for the treatment of these children. There are multiple guidelines for the treatment of these children.

And they pointed out that most of the studies cited by proponents of the bill have either been debunked or had flawed methodology. In fact, most major medical associations say these treatments are completely safe and recommend them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, not to mention dozens of European pediatric and adult published guidelines, and we follow those guidelines to the letter, because we care about these children and we want to keep them alive and healthy, not just in childhood, but after 18 as well.

And in the case of puberty blockers, there’s a lot of research that has found that the effects are reversible if treatment is suspended.

We’ve been using puberty blockers for 50 years. And there’s copious, copious numbers of publications showing that the use of puberty blockers in very young children for lengths of time of up to and over 10 years is safe.

What else do the people testifying against the bill say?

They also pointed out that these children aren’t making decisions to undergo treatment on their own. These decisions are always made in tandem with parents and doctors over a long period of time.

Teens don’t get to decide if they start cross sex hormones under 18. It is a team approach. For the teens that I know, it’s at least a six-month collaborative process to evaluate if medical intervention would be beneficial before they start medicines.

These kids are getting therapy. They’re getting medically tested to make sure that they’re healthy. And beyond these arguments, they say the bigger concern here is how this bill, if it becomes law, will affect trans youths’ mental health.

I’m doing everything I can to maintain my sanity here. I’ve had multiple children— do you know how many phone calls I’ve had to field in the last week of children calling me, saying, Dr. Hutchison, if this happens, I’m going to kill myself. Multiple.

Studies have shown that trans youth have a disproportionately high rate of attempted suicide, anywhere between 30 percent and 50 percent.

Yeah, but what studies also show is that transgender youth who are supported by their families in their transitions experience notably lower rates of depression. And transgender people who were treated with puberty suppressants during adolescence had lowered lifetime risks of suicide as adults. And so trans advocates and doctors, like the ones in Arkansas, are saying this kind of medical treatment is lifesaving and necessary.

So I guarantee you, if this bill passes, children will die. And I will call you guys every single time one does. All right, thank you for your testimony.

So, Dan, it sounds like trans youth are a very, very small proportion of the population. And trans athletes are an even smaller proportion of the population. And the medical treatments we’re talking about here seem to help, not hurt. So I guess, I’m kind of wondering, what is the point of these bills? And why are we seeing so many of them right now?

Well, I think the short answer is politics. These bills and their focus on transgender youth are, in many ways, part of a much larger strategy on the part of the conservative right and are just the latest battle in a very long history of culture wars.

Dan, how did we get here? You mentioned history earlier.

So the place to start is really in the 1970s when the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that abortion was legal. That Supreme Court decision really kind of kickstarted what we have come to think of as the modern era of culture wars. And then, in the ‘90s and early 2000s, same sex marriage became the central issue in the culture wars. And in both of these battles, gender and sexuality were used as a wedge issue pretty much by Republicans and social conservatives to animate their base. So what we’re seeing now is that transgender rights have really taken center stage when it comes to these kind of culture clashes.

So Dan, what was the opening bell of this next culture war battle?

So I would say the first major clash happened in 2016—

The political and social struggle over bathrooms and gender blew up today. The spark came—

—when North Carolina was thrust into the epicenter of the nation’s culture wars after the Republican-controlled legislature passed this bill that would bar transgender people from using public bathrooms that did not correspond with the gender on their birth certificate.

North Carolina passed a bill requiring transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex listed on their birth certificate.

And that bill also made it illegal for municipalities to adopt anti-discrimination policies intended to protect LGBT people.

Dan, what was the argument at the time?

Well, joining us now first on CNBC, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest. Mr. Forest, good morning.

Republican lawmakers who were supporting these bathroom bills were saying that they were needed to protect women and girls from predatory men.

Governments’ first and foremost priority is the protection of its citizens, and especially the protection of women and children. And that’s all—

And that this was vital for protecting traditional values. But ultimately, it backfired. And so when North Carolina passed those measures, the law drew nationwide outrage.

I am not defined by the gender on my birth certificate. I am defined by myself.

And unleashed severe economic consequences for North Carolina.

PayPal says it is now cancelling plans to bring more than 400 jobs with its new operation center.

You had major companies like PayPal cancelling expansions in the state.

Breaking news tonight from the N.B.A. Late today, the league announcing it is pulling next year’s All-Star game out of Charlotte.

The N.B.A. and the N.C.A.A. moved events to other states. And there was such a kind of formidable backlash that the Republican governor actually lost his re-election bid.

The first sitting North Carolina Governor to lose a re-election bid, that’s partly because of backlash from the divisive HB 2 bathroom bill he signed.

And faced with the loss of billions of dollars in lawsuits, the state eventually repealed that ban.

So what happened after North Carolina repealed the law?

Social conservative activists kind of honed their packaging of transgender specific restrictions with messages that were, in many cases, borrowed from the fights over abortion and same sex marriage.

So, with these previous battles, so much of the messaging around the need for these kind of restrictions around sexuality and abortion was that children needed to be protected. So with abortion, it was about protecting the unborn. And with same sex marriage, the thinking was that same sex marriage is bad for children, that children need a mother and a father. And many of the conservative groups that were involved in these previous battles are also at the center of this current wave of anti-transgender legislation. Among these groups are the Alliance Defending Freedom. There’s another group called the American Principles Project. These are social conservative groups that really focus at this point on anti-LGBT causes and whose interests really benefit by partnering with Republican lawmakers.

So what’s the strategy we’re seeing right now with this new set of bills focused on transgender children?

So, as I mentioned, right, they pretty much learned their lessons from these earlier fights and honed their messaging. And in the case of the sports bills, this is pretty much a result of focus groups and poll testing that found that people were more supportive of anti-trans bills when they centered on the issue of sports and fair competition. Because they were able to see that when they emphasized fairness, that that made people think that it was then unfair for a lot of other athletes, specifically women and girls.

And another thing that I think is worth mentioning is that many of these states where we’re seeing these bills have been firmly controlled by Republicans for a long time. These lawmakers aren’t really worried about the general election. But they are worried about the primaries, and specifically, about being challenged from the right. And so I think in a lot of these Republican-controlled legislatures, these are hot button social issues that can be seen as easy political wins. They can go back to their base of voters and say, I voted on this issue the way that you wanted me to. And I do think that’s part of why we’re really seeing these bills gathering steam around the country.

Dan, how many of these bills have passed this year?

Well, three states. Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas have already signed transgender sports bans into law this year. And there are several states right now where this legislation is actually moving very quickly. And in some cases, like in Alabama and North Dakota, the bills are awaiting the governor’s signature.

And Dan, what about the bans on transgender healthcare?

Last month, the Arkansas legislature became the first in the nation to ban medical care for transgender youth. The governor, who is very conservative, had actually signed the trans athlete ban in another bill that allows medical providers to refuse care for trans youth on moral or religious grounds. Well, he actually vetoed this transgender healthcare bill because he said that it was government overreach and interfered with parental rights. But the legislature was able to override his veto.

Hm, interesting that a Republican governor would veto it.

Yeah, I mean, I think that given what happened with the bathroom bill in North Carolina, you were seeing Republican governors getting really anxious about what the backlash might be.

So, Dan, I guess the question in my mind right now is, is this just pure politics on the part of these state lawmakers, or is this a bunch of new legislation that really has legal staying power and could really profoundly affect people’s lives?

So it’s not really clear. But last year, when Idaho became the first state in the nation to pass a trans athlete ban, a federal judge very quickly blocked that law from going into effect. So what we do know is that there are going to be many legal battles over these laws in the future. Whether the courts and the Supreme Court side with Republicans on these laws is an open question. But what we have seen is that whether or not these bills pass, they are actually having a major impact on transgender youth and their families.

State your name and where you’re from. And you only have two minutes. Yes, ma’am. All right. My name is Cash Ashley. I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas. I was born and raised here. I am also a trans man.

And the real worry is that these bills will only further stigmatize and isolate some of the most vulnerable youth in the country.

Those of you who support this bill are the ones experimenting with the lives of young trans people by testing whether or not they can survive the onslaught of horrors through which you are subjecting them.

One of my sons is transgender. And, like, you guys are not seeing and not trying to see is how difficult it is for a person who is transgender before they are acknowledged and believed and supported. Sorry, this is very emotional.

But, you know, instead of sitting here and telling you all the bad things that have happened to me as a trans woman and sitting here and laying out my trauma, I just want to tell you how happy transitioning and living in my truth has made me. Without that, I probably wouldn’t be here.

I’m going to first speak directly to Arkansas’s transgender youth with a love of a real father. You are loved. No matter what happens here today, you are loved. We will prevail against this hatred. Stay alive, no matter what.

The world is already a hostile place towards trans people, especially trans youth. Please don’t actively choose to additionally instill violence by creating barriers to care, which is what this will do. Trans people have always been here. We will always be here. And you cannot erase us. Please stop trying.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

Essentially, what the state has to convince you is that the evidence in this case completely eliminates any reasonable doubt, or in other words, leaving only unreasonable doubt.

In closing arguments on Monday, lawyers for Derek Chauvin told jurors that the former Minneapolis police officer had acted reasonably when he knelt on George Floyd for more than nine minutes and said that the legal bar for holding Chauvin responsible for Floyd’s death is high.

Start from the point of the presumption of innocence and see how far the state can get. I submit to you that the state has failed to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

In their closing argument, prosecutors said that Chauvin had applied deadly restraint to a defenseless man and that they had proven his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video. It is exactly that. You can believe your eyes. It’s what you felt in your gut. It’s what you now know in your heart.

The prosecutors urged jurors to use their common sense and convict Chuavin.

This wasn’t policing, this was murder. The defendant is guilty of all three counts— all of them. And there’s no excuse.

The case is now in the hands of the jury. And—

archived recording (joe biden)

Folks, I have good news. Everybody is eligible as of today to get the vaccine.

President Biden announced that all adults in every U.S. state, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, meeting the deadline of April 19 that Biden had set two weeks ago.

archived recording (joe biden)

We have enough of it. You need to be protected. And you need in turn to protect your neighbors and your family.

In a recorded message, Biden trumpeted the milestone and pleaded with unvaccinated adults to seek out doses.

archived recording (joe biden)

So, please, get the vaccine.

More than half of all American adults, 132 million people, have now received at least one vaccine dose. And about 85 million people have been fully vaccinated.

Today’s episode was produced by Sydney Harper, Eric Krupke, and Asthaa Chaturvedi. It was edited by Anita Badejo and engineered by Chris Wood. Special thanks to Priya Arora.


'Racy' North Dakota Ad Sparks Controversy - Recipes

From The New York Times, I’m Michael Barbaro. This is The Daily.

Just four months into 2021, Republican state lawmakers across the country have already proposed more bills restricting the lives of transgender youth than in any previous year. Today, Sabrina Tavernise spoke with our colleague, Dan Levin, about what’s behind these bills and the impact they could have on the children and families that they target.

So, Dan, can you start by telling us what are these bills we’ve been seeing around the country?

So, the big national picture is, since January, in often Republican-controlled legislatures in over 30 states, lawmakers have introduced more than 80 bills that focus on the rights of transgender youth. And these bills kind of fall into two main baskets. The first focus is on trans youth in sports. And the other big basket of bills is around transgender medical care.

So, Dan, let’s start with the first basket. Tell me about the sports bills.

So these bills have been introduced in states from Texas to Florida to West Virginia, Kansas, and Missouri. And the major focus of these transgender sports bills is that they aim to prevent transgender athletes, and really, in most of these cases, transgender women and girls from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity.

So let me make sure I understand this. This would bar a girl who was called male at birth from playing on a female soccer team.

Exactly. These bills would ban transgender girls on a high school soccer team or a middle school soccer team or in a college team from playing on women’s teams.

And what is the argument lawmakers are making for this?

This is about equality. It’s also about a chaos that’s permeating our country.

The main argument of proponents of these bills is that they’re all about ensuring fair competition in sports.

I’ve got daughters and granddaughters who compete in sports. And I know that if they had a situation where they were faced with competing against a biological male, what would be the point?

They say that women and girls might be physically outmatched by transgender women and girls.

This important piece of legislation will ensure that young girls in Mississippi have a fair level playing field in public school sports.

And so the government needs to proactively step in and protect women and girls in sports.

And I also believe that it’s discrimination for women to not pass this.

Dan, is there any truth to the argument that trans women have certain advantages in sports? Tell me about that.

So this is a highly debated question. And there isn’t enough research done on transgender athletes to say definitively. But what we do know is that the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that kids should play on sports teams that match their gender identity. And sports associations like the N.C.A.A. and the International Olympic Committee already have policies in place to really ensure that athletics can be inclusive of transgender women, while also ensuring fair competition.

Many school athletics associations are saying this is not really an issue. And they have come out against these bills, saying they are based on stereotypes and are actually not really needed. And trans advocates also say that these bills are incredibly invasive in that many of them would allow anyone to contest a student athlete’s gender. And that student would then be required to undergo, say, a genital exam, other kind of testing that would just be incredibly stigmatizing and invasive.

Wow. How often does this question of transgender athletes playing on sports teams even come up, Dan? Are there a lot of schools encountering this?

There really aren’t. Transgender youth make up less than 2 percent of the population, according to recent estimates. And trans athletes are even fewer. Last month, the Associated Press reached out to sponsors of these anti-trans sports bills in more than 20 states. And many of these sponsors could not cite a single instance in their state or their region where the participation of transgender athletes has caused problems.

Dan, you also mentioned a second set of bills that were related to healthcare. What do those bills do?

So at the same time as we’re seeing these transgender sports bills, legislators in 21 states have introduced bills focused on banning medical care for youth who experience gender dysphoria. And that’s the medical diagnosis for when a person’s gender identity is different from the sex that’s listed on their birth certificates. Some bills, for example, criminalize doctors who provide what trans advocates call gender affirming care to minors. So these are treatments like puberty blockers or hormone therapy.

Dan, can you explain what those treatments are?

Yeah, puberty blockers are exactly what they sound like. So these are medications that temporarily suppress puberty. And the point is to give these kids more time to essentially decide if they want to move forward with a medical transition. And so, these medications will halt the body from, say, developing breasts or facial hair or a deepening voice or menstruating.

So kind of like a pause button.

Exactly. Now, hormone therapies are the next step. If an adolescent wants to continue with their medical transition, they will start taking hormones like estrogen or testosterone. And this type of treatment is a more serious decision, which is why medical guidelines actually recommend that they’re generally not prescribed until the age of 16. Many of these bills also make it illegal for doctors to perform gender affirming surgeries on anyone under the age of 18. But this part is kind of a red herring, because these surgeries are not really done on people under 18.

OK, we’re going to move on to HB 1570. Representative Lundstrom, you are recognized to present your bill.

All of these issues were recently debated in Little Rock, Arkansas, when the state legislature debated its bill.

I want to protect children. And this bill simply states that anyone under 18 in Arkansas is to be protected.

Proponents are saying this bill is needed to protect kids.

Interfering with puberty will always have an impact. You can’t pause normal development without lifetime ramifications.

That these treatments, like puberty blockers and hormone therapies, are experimental and irreversible.

You have to be 18 years of age in this state to get a tattoo without your parents’ permission. You have to be 21 to buy alcohol. To allow children to undergo these types of decisions at such an early age is a mistake.

And that children are too young to make these kinds of decisions before they turn 18.

And it’s my understanding there’s no gender reassignment surgery done on youth in Arkansas anyway. Is that true? No, there is not any surgery done on youth in Arkansas. I’m thankful for that. And hopefully this will draw that line in the sand.

Then, with banning surgery for trans kids, even the sponsor of the bill acknowledged that it never happens.

I mean, are we a solution looking for a problem? No, I don’t think so at all. And I think we need to stop it before it starts. We should never have penises amputated or breasts amputated on children ever.

Dan, who are the people testifying in support of the bill?

Well, in Arkansas, there were two separate hearings of this bill. And in total, six people testified in favor of it. They included someone from the Family Research Council, which is a conservative religious group. There were also a few child psychologists, an anesthesiologist, and an internist. But for some of these experts, it became clear that their experience with these issues was limited.

I have a question for the two doctors. How many patients have you all actually treated with gender dysphoria? In my adolescent medicine practice, it was in the late 1970s. And since I have been primarily doing anesthesia for the last 20 to 30 years, I have not taken care of those patients. So the answer is zero? You’ve never treated a child with gender dysphoria? To be honest, I had enough different patients in my private office. I cannot tell you whether I did or didn’t.

What about the people who spoke out against the bill? Who were they, and what were their arguments?

On the other side, there were over 20 people who spoke out against the legislation. They included several doctors and clinicians who have lots of experience treating kids with gender dysphoria.

There are, ma’am, multiple published standards of care for the treatment of these children. There are multiple guidelines for the treatment of these children.

And they pointed out that most of the studies cited by proponents of the bill have either been debunked or had flawed methodology. In fact, most major medical associations say these treatments are completely safe and recommend them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, not to mention dozens of European pediatric and adult published guidelines, and we follow those guidelines to the letter, because we care about these children and we want to keep them alive and healthy, not just in childhood, but after 18 as well.

And in the case of puberty blockers, there’s a lot of research that has found that the effects are reversible if treatment is suspended.

We’ve been using puberty blockers for 50 years. And there’s copious, copious numbers of publications showing that the use of puberty blockers in very young children for lengths of time of up to and over 10 years is safe.

What else do the people testifying against the bill say?

They also pointed out that these children aren’t making decisions to undergo treatment on their own. These decisions are always made in tandem with parents and doctors over a long period of time.

Teens don’t get to decide if they start cross sex hormones under 18. It is a team approach. For the teens that I know, it’s at least a six-month collaborative process to evaluate if medical intervention would be beneficial before they start medicines.

These kids are getting therapy. They’re getting medically tested to make sure that they’re healthy. And beyond these arguments, they say the bigger concern here is how this bill, if it becomes law, will affect trans youths’ mental health.

I’m doing everything I can to maintain my sanity here. I’ve had multiple children— do you know how many phone calls I’ve had to field in the last week of children calling me, saying, Dr. Hutchison, if this happens, I’m going to kill myself. Multiple.

Studies have shown that trans youth have a disproportionately high rate of attempted suicide, anywhere between 30 percent and 50 percent.

Yeah, but what studies also show is that transgender youth who are supported by their families in their transitions experience notably lower rates of depression. And transgender people who were treated with puberty suppressants during adolescence had lowered lifetime risks of suicide as adults. And so trans advocates and doctors, like the ones in Arkansas, are saying this kind of medical treatment is lifesaving and necessary.

So I guarantee you, if this bill passes, children will die. And I will call you guys every single time one does. All right, thank you for your testimony.

So, Dan, it sounds like trans youth are a very, very small proportion of the population. And trans athletes are an even smaller proportion of the population. And the medical treatments we’re talking about here seem to help, not hurt. So I guess, I’m kind of wondering, what is the point of these bills? And why are we seeing so many of them right now?

Well, I think the short answer is politics. These bills and their focus on transgender youth are, in many ways, part of a much larger strategy on the part of the conservative right and are just the latest battle in a very long history of culture wars.

Dan, how did we get here? You mentioned history earlier.

So the place to start is really in the 1970s when the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that abortion was legal. That Supreme Court decision really kind of kickstarted what we have come to think of as the modern era of culture wars. And then, in the ‘90s and early 2000s, same sex marriage became the central issue in the culture wars. And in both of these battles, gender and sexuality were used as a wedge issue pretty much by Republicans and social conservatives to animate their base. So what we’re seeing now is that transgender rights have really taken center stage when it comes to these kind of culture clashes.

So Dan, what was the opening bell of this next culture war battle?

So I would say the first major clash happened in 2016—

The political and social struggle over bathrooms and gender blew up today. The spark came—

—when North Carolina was thrust into the epicenter of the nation’s culture wars after the Republican-controlled legislature passed this bill that would bar transgender people from using public bathrooms that did not correspond with the gender on their birth certificate.

North Carolina passed a bill requiring transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex listed on their birth certificate.

And that bill also made it illegal for municipalities to adopt anti-discrimination policies intended to protect LGBT people.

Dan, what was the argument at the time?

Well, joining us now first on CNBC, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest. Mr. Forest, good morning.

Republican lawmakers who were supporting these bathroom bills were saying that they were needed to protect women and girls from predatory men.

Governments’ first and foremost priority is the protection of its citizens, and especially the protection of women and children. And that’s all—

And that this was vital for protecting traditional values. But ultimately, it backfired. And so when North Carolina passed those measures, the law drew nationwide outrage.

I am not defined by the gender on my birth certificate. I am defined by myself.

And unleashed severe economic consequences for North Carolina.

PayPal says it is now cancelling plans to bring more than 400 jobs with its new operation center.

You had major companies like PayPal cancelling expansions in the state.

Breaking news tonight from the N.B.A. Late today, the league announcing it is pulling next year’s All-Star game out of Charlotte.

The N.B.A. and the N.C.A.A. moved events to other states. And there was such a kind of formidable backlash that the Republican governor actually lost his re-election bid.

The first sitting North Carolina Governor to lose a re-election bid, that’s partly because of backlash from the divisive HB 2 bathroom bill he signed.

And faced with the loss of billions of dollars in lawsuits, the state eventually repealed that ban.

So what happened after North Carolina repealed the law?

Social conservative activists kind of honed their packaging of transgender specific restrictions with messages that were, in many cases, borrowed from the fights over abortion and same sex marriage.

So, with these previous battles, so much of the messaging around the need for these kind of restrictions around sexuality and abortion was that children needed to be protected. So with abortion, it was about protecting the unborn. And with same sex marriage, the thinking was that same sex marriage is bad for children, that children need a mother and a father. And many of the conservative groups that were involved in these previous battles are also at the center of this current wave of anti-transgender legislation. Among these groups are the Alliance Defending Freedom. There’s another group called the American Principles Project. These are social conservative groups that really focus at this point on anti-LGBT causes and whose interests really benefit by partnering with Republican lawmakers.

So what’s the strategy we’re seeing right now with this new set of bills focused on transgender children?

So, as I mentioned, right, they pretty much learned their lessons from these earlier fights and honed their messaging. And in the case of the sports bills, this is pretty much a result of focus groups and poll testing that found that people were more supportive of anti-trans bills when they centered on the issue of sports and fair competition. Because they were able to see that when they emphasized fairness, that that made people think that it was then unfair for a lot of other athletes, specifically women and girls.

And another thing that I think is worth mentioning is that many of these states where we’re seeing these bills have been firmly controlled by Republicans for a long time. These lawmakers aren’t really worried about the general election. But they are worried about the primaries, and specifically, about being challenged from the right. And so I think in a lot of these Republican-controlled legislatures, these are hot button social issues that can be seen as easy political wins. They can go back to their base of voters and say, I voted on this issue the way that you wanted me to. And I do think that’s part of why we’re really seeing these bills gathering steam around the country.

Dan, how many of these bills have passed this year?

Well, three states. Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas have already signed transgender sports bans into law this year. And there are several states right now where this legislation is actually moving very quickly. And in some cases, like in Alabama and North Dakota, the bills are awaiting the governor’s signature.

And Dan, what about the bans on transgender healthcare?

Last month, the Arkansas legislature became the first in the nation to ban medical care for transgender youth. The governor, who is very conservative, had actually signed the trans athlete ban in another bill that allows medical providers to refuse care for trans youth on moral or religious grounds. Well, he actually vetoed this transgender healthcare bill because he said that it was government overreach and interfered with parental rights. But the legislature was able to override his veto.

Hm, interesting that a Republican governor would veto it.

Yeah, I mean, I think that given what happened with the bathroom bill in North Carolina, you were seeing Republican governors getting really anxious about what the backlash might be.

So, Dan, I guess the question in my mind right now is, is this just pure politics on the part of these state lawmakers, or is this a bunch of new legislation that really has legal staying power and could really profoundly affect people’s lives?

So it’s not really clear. But last year, when Idaho became the first state in the nation to pass a trans athlete ban, a federal judge very quickly blocked that law from going into effect. So what we do know is that there are going to be many legal battles over these laws in the future. Whether the courts and the Supreme Court side with Republicans on these laws is an open question. But what we have seen is that whether or not these bills pass, they are actually having a major impact on transgender youth and their families.

State your name and where you’re from. And you only have two minutes. Yes, ma’am. All right. My name is Cash Ashley. I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas. I was born and raised here. I am also a trans man.

And the real worry is that these bills will only further stigmatize and isolate some of the most vulnerable youth in the country.

Those of you who support this bill are the ones experimenting with the lives of young trans people by testing whether or not they can survive the onslaught of horrors through which you are subjecting them.

One of my sons is transgender. And, like, you guys are not seeing and not trying to see is how difficult it is for a person who is transgender before they are acknowledged and believed and supported. Sorry, this is very emotional.

But, you know, instead of sitting here and telling you all the bad things that have happened to me as a trans woman and sitting here and laying out my trauma, I just want to tell you how happy transitioning and living in my truth has made me. Without that, I probably wouldn’t be here.

I’m going to first speak directly to Arkansas’s transgender youth with a love of a real father. You are loved. No matter what happens here today, you are loved. We will prevail against this hatred. Stay alive, no matter what.

The world is already a hostile place towards trans people, especially trans youth. Please don’t actively choose to additionally instill violence by creating barriers to care, which is what this will do. Trans people have always been here. We will always be here. And you cannot erase us. Please stop trying.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

Essentially, what the state has to convince you is that the evidence in this case completely eliminates any reasonable doubt, or in other words, leaving only unreasonable doubt.

In closing arguments on Monday, lawyers for Derek Chauvin told jurors that the former Minneapolis police officer had acted reasonably when he knelt on George Floyd for more than nine minutes and said that the legal bar for holding Chauvin responsible for Floyd’s death is high.

Start from the point of the presumption of innocence and see how far the state can get. I submit to you that the state has failed to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

In their closing argument, prosecutors said that Chauvin had applied deadly restraint to a defenseless man and that they had proven his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video. It is exactly that. You can believe your eyes. It’s what you felt in your gut. It’s what you now know in your heart.

The prosecutors urged jurors to use their common sense and convict Chuavin.

This wasn’t policing, this was murder. The defendant is guilty of all three counts— all of them. And there’s no excuse.

The case is now in the hands of the jury. And—

archived recording (joe biden)

Folks, I have good news. Everybody is eligible as of today to get the vaccine.

President Biden announced that all adults in every U.S. state, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, meeting the deadline of April 19 that Biden had set two weeks ago.

archived recording (joe biden)

We have enough of it. You need to be protected. And you need in turn to protect your neighbors and your family.

In a recorded message, Biden trumpeted the milestone and pleaded with unvaccinated adults to seek out doses.

archived recording (joe biden)

So, please, get the vaccine.

More than half of all American adults, 132 million people, have now received at least one vaccine dose. And about 85 million people have been fully vaccinated.

Today’s episode was produced by Sydney Harper, Eric Krupke, and Asthaa Chaturvedi. It was edited by Anita Badejo and engineered by Chris Wood. Special thanks to Priya Arora.


'Racy' North Dakota Ad Sparks Controversy - Recipes

From The New York Times, I’m Michael Barbaro. This is The Daily.

Just four months into 2021, Republican state lawmakers across the country have already proposed more bills restricting the lives of transgender youth than in any previous year. Today, Sabrina Tavernise spoke with our colleague, Dan Levin, about what’s behind these bills and the impact they could have on the children and families that they target.

So, Dan, can you start by telling us what are these bills we’ve been seeing around the country?

So, the big national picture is, since January, in often Republican-controlled legislatures in over 30 states, lawmakers have introduced more than 80 bills that focus on the rights of transgender youth. And these bills kind of fall into two main baskets. The first focus is on trans youth in sports. And the other big basket of bills is around transgender medical care.

So, Dan, let’s start with the first basket. Tell me about the sports bills.

So these bills have been introduced in states from Texas to Florida to West Virginia, Kansas, and Missouri. And the major focus of these transgender sports bills is that they aim to prevent transgender athletes, and really, in most of these cases, transgender women and girls from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity.

So let me make sure I understand this. This would bar a girl who was called male at birth from playing on a female soccer team.

Exactly. These bills would ban transgender girls on a high school soccer team or a middle school soccer team or in a college team from playing on women’s teams.

And what is the argument lawmakers are making for this?

This is about equality. It’s also about a chaos that’s permeating our country.

The main argument of proponents of these bills is that they’re all about ensuring fair competition in sports.

I’ve got daughters and granddaughters who compete in sports. And I know that if they had a situation where they were faced with competing against a biological male, what would be the point?

They say that women and girls might be physically outmatched by transgender women and girls.

This important piece of legislation will ensure that young girls in Mississippi have a fair level playing field in public school sports.

And so the government needs to proactively step in and protect women and girls in sports.

And I also believe that it’s discrimination for women to not pass this.

Dan, is there any truth to the argument that trans women have certain advantages in sports? Tell me about that.

So this is a highly debated question. And there isn’t enough research done on transgender athletes to say definitively. But what we do know is that the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that kids should play on sports teams that match their gender identity. And sports associations like the N.C.A.A. and the International Olympic Committee already have policies in place to really ensure that athletics can be inclusive of transgender women, while also ensuring fair competition.

Many school athletics associations are saying this is not really an issue. And they have come out against these bills, saying they are based on stereotypes and are actually not really needed. And trans advocates also say that these bills are incredibly invasive in that many of them would allow anyone to contest a student athlete’s gender. And that student would then be required to undergo, say, a genital exam, other kind of testing that would just be incredibly stigmatizing and invasive.

Wow. How often does this question of transgender athletes playing on sports teams even come up, Dan? Are there a lot of schools encountering this?

There really aren’t. Transgender youth make up less than 2 percent of the population, according to recent estimates. And trans athletes are even fewer. Last month, the Associated Press reached out to sponsors of these anti-trans sports bills in more than 20 states. And many of these sponsors could not cite a single instance in their state or their region where the participation of transgender athletes has caused problems.

Dan, you also mentioned a second set of bills that were related to healthcare. What do those bills do?

So at the same time as we’re seeing these transgender sports bills, legislators in 21 states have introduced bills focused on banning medical care for youth who experience gender dysphoria. And that’s the medical diagnosis for when a person’s gender identity is different from the sex that’s listed on their birth certificates. Some bills, for example, criminalize doctors who provide what trans advocates call gender affirming care to minors. So these are treatments like puberty blockers or hormone therapy.

Dan, can you explain what those treatments are?

Yeah, puberty blockers are exactly what they sound like. So these are medications that temporarily suppress puberty. And the point is to give these kids more time to essentially decide if they want to move forward with a medical transition. And so, these medications will halt the body from, say, developing breasts or facial hair or a deepening voice or menstruating.

So kind of like a pause button.

Exactly. Now, hormone therapies are the next step. If an adolescent wants to continue with their medical transition, they will start taking hormones like estrogen or testosterone. And this type of treatment is a more serious decision, which is why medical guidelines actually recommend that they’re generally not prescribed until the age of 16. Many of these bills also make it illegal for doctors to perform gender affirming surgeries on anyone under the age of 18. But this part is kind of a red herring, because these surgeries are not really done on people under 18.

OK, we’re going to move on to HB 1570. Representative Lundstrom, you are recognized to present your bill.

All of these issues were recently debated in Little Rock, Arkansas, when the state legislature debated its bill.

I want to protect children. And this bill simply states that anyone under 18 in Arkansas is to be protected.

Proponents are saying this bill is needed to protect kids.

Interfering with puberty will always have an impact. You can’t pause normal development without lifetime ramifications.

That these treatments, like puberty blockers and hormone therapies, are experimental and irreversible.

You have to be 18 years of age in this state to get a tattoo without your parents’ permission. You have to be 21 to buy alcohol. To allow children to undergo these types of decisions at such an early age is a mistake.

And that children are too young to make these kinds of decisions before they turn 18.

And it’s my understanding there’s no gender reassignment surgery done on youth in Arkansas anyway. Is that true? No, there is not any surgery done on youth in Arkansas. I’m thankful for that. And hopefully this will draw that line in the sand.

Then, with banning surgery for trans kids, even the sponsor of the bill acknowledged that it never happens.

I mean, are we a solution looking for a problem? No, I don’t think so at all. And I think we need to stop it before it starts. We should never have penises amputated or breasts amputated on children ever.

Dan, who are the people testifying in support of the bill?

Well, in Arkansas, there were two separate hearings of this bill. And in total, six people testified in favor of it. They included someone from the Family Research Council, which is a conservative religious group. There were also a few child psychologists, an anesthesiologist, and an internist. But for some of these experts, it became clear that their experience with these issues was limited.

I have a question for the two doctors. How many patients have you all actually treated with gender dysphoria? In my adolescent medicine practice, it was in the late 1970s. And since I have been primarily doing anesthesia for the last 20 to 30 years, I have not taken care of those patients. So the answer is zero? You’ve never treated a child with gender dysphoria? To be honest, I had enough different patients in my private office. I cannot tell you whether I did or didn’t.

What about the people who spoke out against the bill? Who were they, and what were their arguments?

On the other side, there were over 20 people who spoke out against the legislation. They included several doctors and clinicians who have lots of experience treating kids with gender dysphoria.

There are, ma’am, multiple published standards of care for the treatment of these children. There are multiple guidelines for the treatment of these children.

And they pointed out that most of the studies cited by proponents of the bill have either been debunked or had flawed methodology. In fact, most major medical associations say these treatments are completely safe and recommend them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, not to mention dozens of European pediatric and adult published guidelines, and we follow those guidelines to the letter, because we care about these children and we want to keep them alive and healthy, not just in childhood, but after 18 as well.

And in the case of puberty blockers, there’s a lot of research that has found that the effects are reversible if treatment is suspended.

We’ve been using puberty blockers for 50 years. And there’s copious, copious numbers of publications showing that the use of puberty blockers in very young children for lengths of time of up to and over 10 years is safe.

What else do the people testifying against the bill say?

They also pointed out that these children aren’t making decisions to undergo treatment on their own. These decisions are always made in tandem with parents and doctors over a long period of time.

Teens don’t get to decide if they start cross sex hormones under 18. It is a team approach. For the teens that I know, it’s at least a six-month collaborative process to evaluate if medical intervention would be beneficial before they start medicines.

These kids are getting therapy. They’re getting medically tested to make sure that they’re healthy. And beyond these arguments, they say the bigger concern here is how this bill, if it becomes law, will affect trans youths’ mental health.

I’m doing everything I can to maintain my sanity here. I’ve had multiple children— do you know how many phone calls I’ve had to field in the last week of children calling me, saying, Dr. Hutchison, if this happens, I’m going to kill myself. Multiple.

Studies have shown that trans youth have a disproportionately high rate of attempted suicide, anywhere between 30 percent and 50 percent.

Yeah, but what studies also show is that transgender youth who are supported by their families in their transitions experience notably lower rates of depression. And transgender people who were treated with puberty suppressants during adolescence had lowered lifetime risks of suicide as adults. And so trans advocates and doctors, like the ones in Arkansas, are saying this kind of medical treatment is lifesaving and necessary.

So I guarantee you, if this bill passes, children will die. And I will call you guys every single time one does. All right, thank you for your testimony.

So, Dan, it sounds like trans youth are a very, very small proportion of the population. And trans athletes are an even smaller proportion of the population. And the medical treatments we’re talking about here seem to help, not hurt. So I guess, I’m kind of wondering, what is the point of these bills? And why are we seeing so many of them right now?

Well, I think the short answer is politics. These bills and their focus on transgender youth are, in many ways, part of a much larger strategy on the part of the conservative right and are just the latest battle in a very long history of culture wars.

Dan, how did we get here? You mentioned history earlier.

So the place to start is really in the 1970s when the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that abortion was legal. That Supreme Court decision really kind of kickstarted what we have come to think of as the modern era of culture wars. And then, in the ‘90s and early 2000s, same sex marriage became the central issue in the culture wars. And in both of these battles, gender and sexuality were used as a wedge issue pretty much by Republicans and social conservatives to animate their base. So what we’re seeing now is that transgender rights have really taken center stage when it comes to these kind of culture clashes.

So Dan, what was the opening bell of this next culture war battle?

So I would say the first major clash happened in 2016—

The political and social struggle over bathrooms and gender blew up today. The spark came—

—when North Carolina was thrust into the epicenter of the nation’s culture wars after the Republican-controlled legislature passed this bill that would bar transgender people from using public bathrooms that did not correspond with the gender on their birth certificate.

North Carolina passed a bill requiring transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex listed on their birth certificate.

And that bill also made it illegal for municipalities to adopt anti-discrimination policies intended to protect LGBT people.

Dan, what was the argument at the time?

Well, joining us now first on CNBC, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest. Mr. Forest, good morning.

Republican lawmakers who were supporting these bathroom bills were saying that they were needed to protect women and girls from predatory men.

Governments’ first and foremost priority is the protection of its citizens, and especially the protection of women and children. And that’s all—

And that this was vital for protecting traditional values. But ultimately, it backfired. And so when North Carolina passed those measures, the law drew nationwide outrage.

I am not defined by the gender on my birth certificate. I am defined by myself.

And unleashed severe economic consequences for North Carolina.

PayPal says it is now cancelling plans to bring more than 400 jobs with its new operation center.

You had major companies like PayPal cancelling expansions in the state.

Breaking news tonight from the N.B.A. Late today, the league announcing it is pulling next year’s All-Star game out of Charlotte.

The N.B.A. and the N.C.A.A. moved events to other states. And there was such a kind of formidable backlash that the Republican governor actually lost his re-election bid.

The first sitting North Carolina Governor to lose a re-election bid, that’s partly because of backlash from the divisive HB 2 bathroom bill he signed.

And faced with the loss of billions of dollars in lawsuits, the state eventually repealed that ban.

So what happened after North Carolina repealed the law?

Social conservative activists kind of honed their packaging of transgender specific restrictions with messages that were, in many cases, borrowed from the fights over abortion and same sex marriage.

So, with these previous battles, so much of the messaging around the need for these kind of restrictions around sexuality and abortion was that children needed to be protected. So with abortion, it was about protecting the unborn. And with same sex marriage, the thinking was that same sex marriage is bad for children, that children need a mother and a father. And many of the conservative groups that were involved in these previous battles are also at the center of this current wave of anti-transgender legislation. Among these groups are the Alliance Defending Freedom. There’s another group called the American Principles Project. These are social conservative groups that really focus at this point on anti-LGBT causes and whose interests really benefit by partnering with Republican lawmakers.

So what’s the strategy we’re seeing right now with this new set of bills focused on transgender children?

So, as I mentioned, right, they pretty much learned their lessons from these earlier fights and honed their messaging. And in the case of the sports bills, this is pretty much a result of focus groups and poll testing that found that people were more supportive of anti-trans bills when they centered on the issue of sports and fair competition. Because they were able to see that when they emphasized fairness, that that made people think that it was then unfair for a lot of other athletes, specifically women and girls.

And another thing that I think is worth mentioning is that many of these states where we’re seeing these bills have been firmly controlled by Republicans for a long time. These lawmakers aren’t really worried about the general election. But they are worried about the primaries, and specifically, about being challenged from the right. And so I think in a lot of these Republican-controlled legislatures, these are hot button social issues that can be seen as easy political wins. They can go back to their base of voters and say, I voted on this issue the way that you wanted me to. And I do think that’s part of why we’re really seeing these bills gathering steam around the country.

Dan, how many of these bills have passed this year?

Well, three states. Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas have already signed transgender sports bans into law this year. And there are several states right now where this legislation is actually moving very quickly. And in some cases, like in Alabama and North Dakota, the bills are awaiting the governor’s signature.

And Dan, what about the bans on transgender healthcare?

Last month, the Arkansas legislature became the first in the nation to ban medical care for transgender youth. The governor, who is very conservative, had actually signed the trans athlete ban in another bill that allows medical providers to refuse care for trans youth on moral or religious grounds. Well, he actually vetoed this transgender healthcare bill because he said that it was government overreach and interfered with parental rights. But the legislature was able to override his veto.

Hm, interesting that a Republican governor would veto it.

Yeah, I mean, I think that given what happened with the bathroom bill in North Carolina, you were seeing Republican governors getting really anxious about what the backlash might be.

So, Dan, I guess the question in my mind right now is, is this just pure politics on the part of these state lawmakers, or is this a bunch of new legislation that really has legal staying power and could really profoundly affect people’s lives?

So it’s not really clear. But last year, when Idaho became the first state in the nation to pass a trans athlete ban, a federal judge very quickly blocked that law from going into effect. So what we do know is that there are going to be many legal battles over these laws in the future. Whether the courts and the Supreme Court side with Republicans on these laws is an open question. But what we have seen is that whether or not these bills pass, they are actually having a major impact on transgender youth and their families.

State your name and where you’re from. And you only have two minutes. Yes, ma’am. All right. My name is Cash Ashley. I’m from Little Rock, Arkansas. I was born and raised here. I am also a trans man.

And the real worry is that these bills will only further stigmatize and isolate some of the most vulnerable youth in the country.

Those of you who support this bill are the ones experimenting with the lives of young trans people by testing whether or not they can survive the onslaught of horrors through which you are subjecting them.

One of my sons is transgender. And, like, you guys are not seeing and not trying to see is how difficult it is for a person who is transgender before they are acknowledged and believed and supported. Sorry, this is very emotional.

But, you know, instead of sitting here and telling you all the bad things that have happened to me as a trans woman and sitting here and laying out my trauma, I just want to tell you how happy transitioning and living in my truth has made me. Without that, I probably wouldn’t be here.

I’m going to first speak directly to Arkansas’s transgender youth with a love of a real father. You are loved. No matter what happens here today, you are loved. We will prevail against this hatred. Stay alive, no matter what.

The world is already a hostile place towards trans people, especially trans youth. Please don’t actively choose to additionally instill violence by creating barriers to care, which is what this will do. Trans people have always been here. We will always be here. And you cannot erase us. Please stop trying.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

Essentially, what the state has to convince you is that the evidence in this case completely eliminates any reasonable doubt, or in other words, leaving only unreasonable doubt.

In closing arguments on Monday, lawyers for Derek Chauvin told jurors that the former Minneapolis police officer had acted reasonably when he knelt on George Floyd for more than nine minutes and said that the legal bar for holding Chauvin responsible for Floyd’s death is high.

Start from the point of the presumption of innocence and see how far the state can get. I submit to you that the state has failed to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

In their closing argument, prosecutors said that Chauvin had applied deadly restraint to a defenseless man and that they had proven his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is exactly what you thought when you saw it first, when you saw that video. It is exactly that. You can believe your eyes. It’s what you felt in your gut. It’s what you now know in your heart.

The prosecutors urged jurors to use their common sense and convict Chuavin.

This wasn’t policing, this was murder. The defendant is guilty of all three counts— all of them. And there’s no excuse.

The case is now in the hands of the jury. And—

archived recording (joe biden)

Folks, I have good news. Everybody is eligible as of today to get the vaccine.

President Biden announced that all adults in every U.S. state, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico are now eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, meeting the deadline of April 19 that Biden had set two weeks ago.

archived recording (joe biden)

We have enough of it. You need to be protected. And you need in turn to protect your neighbors and your family.

In a recorded message, Biden trumpeted the milestone and pleaded with unvaccinated adults to seek out doses.

archived recording (joe biden)

So, please, get the vaccine.

More than half of all American adults, 132 million people, have now received at least one vaccine dose. And about 85 million people have been fully vaccinated.

Today’s episode was produced by Sydney Harper, Eric Krupke, and Asthaa Chaturvedi. It was edited by Anita Badejo and engineered by Chris Wood. Special thanks to Priya Arora.


Watch the video: North Dakota Wheat Harvest 2019 Aerial Video (December 2021).