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Nebraska lawmakers haven’t passed a single bill this session, as a state lawmaker continues a weekslong filibuster protest over trans rights and vows to “burn this session to the ground” if she has to.
Who is she? Democratic state senator Machaela Cavanaugh.
What is going on? Nebraska's bill is part of a nationwide trend in proposals targeting trans and LGBTQ people.
Want to learn more about politics and identity? Listen to the Consider This episode about restrictions on drag shows and their history in the U.S.
What are people saying?
Speaking to NPR on Friday, Cavanaugh said she was pushing back against a new trend in politics.
I don't know why, as a nation, as policymakers, there is this newfound focus on trans children. Trans children have always existed. They have always lived in our society, in our schools, in our families. And all of the sudden, there is a decision by policymakers that we need to do something about them. It doesn't make any sense to me. And so I don't think any policies that restrict the rights of children, because they are trans, are appropriate.
Cavanaugh acknowledged that important bills were not being passed because of her filibuster, but put the onus on the legislature leaders who have the power to remove proposal LB574.
The Speaker is in charge of the schedule, and he belongs to the majority party. And they are setting the agenda of what we are accomplishing this session, [and] part of my intention is to force them into deciding what it is that they believe we should be doing as a legislature. And as such, we're not going to pass as many bills as we might in other years, but we are going to have to think about what it is we pass and what is important to us and what we value. And that is going to be reflected back to the people of Nebraska.
Nebraska state senator Kathleen Kauth, who is the principal sponsor of LB574, said she knew the bill would face opposition, telling Washington Watch With Tony Perkins last month:
We knew it would be very difficult. It's an incredibly emotional topic. Everyone believes that they are acting in the best interests of children, we're just looking at it from very different sides.
We want to give these kids every opportunity to let their body grow, to let their brains grow, to let things develop more fully and work through the issues they're experiencing.
So, what now?
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