State anti-transgender bills represent coordinated attack, advocates say

Bills in at least 20 states are targeting the transgender community in what LGBTQ advocates say is an organized assault by conservative groups. On Thursday, the North Dakota House of Representatives passed a bill that would ban transgender student athletes from joining teams that match their gender identity. The measure, which passed 65 to 26, also calls for withholding state funds from sporting events that allow athletes to play as anything other than their sex assigned at birth. The bill now heads to the state Senate. Supporters of the bill — including Republican state Rep. Ben Koppelman, its primary sponsor — say they want to protect opportunities for girls in sports, including access to athletic scholarships. House Minority Leader Josh Boschee, a Democrat, countered that the bill would “codify discrimination.”