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In Conjunction with Pride Month, Durbin Questions Witnesses at Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Defending the Rights of LGBTQ+ Americans

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today questioned witnesses at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing entitled, “Protecting Pride: Defending the Civil Rights of LGBTQ+ Americans.”  The hearing celebrated the historic progress made in protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ Americans.  It also served as a call to remain steadfast in defending these rights against a tidal wave of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation being introduced across the country, particularly targeting transgender youth.

Durbin began by asking Dr. Ximena Lopez, a pediatric endocrinologist from Texas, about the gender-affirming care she has provided to transgender patients for a decade amid efforts by state officials and conservative groups to delegitimize the treatment as unethical.

“There have been references made here to whether or not your profession and what you’ve done with your life for the past ten years is an outlier itself.  That, in fact, you’re not doing what is mainstream medicine in America,” Durbin said.  “How do you respond to that?”

Dr. Lopez responded by saying that, “That is not true.  The type of care that I provide, gender-affirming care, is the mainstream standard of care, best practice, recommended by all the legitimate medical societies in the United States and across the world.”

Durbin noted that the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics support age-appropriate gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary individuals.

“We are talking about science and medicine versus a political spin on the issue,” Durbin said.

Durbin then asked Kelley Robinson, President of the Human Rights Campaign, about the resurgence of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation across the country.

“What else is coming up in the state legislature[s] that concerns you?” Durbin asked.

Ms. Robinson responded that, “For me, what’s even more concerning is the violent rhetoric that surrounds every introduction of a bill.  It is contributing to the fact that one in five of every hate crime is now motivated by anti-LGBTQ+ bias… it is creating fear and isolation even when a bill isn’t passed into law.

Video of Durbin’s questions in Committee is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s questions in Committee is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s questions in Committee is available here for TV Stations.