State senator Machaela Cavanaugh speaks out against a Nebraska bill banning gender-affirming healthcare for trans minors. Amidst the rise in anti-trans bills, one politician stands up for trans rights.

Machaela Cavanaugh stands up for Trans people

Machaela Cavanaugh is an American politician serving in the Nebraska Legislature. She is a member of the Democratic Party in the US. This month, she spoke out against the bill banning trans healthcare for minors. Once the state advanced the bill, Cavanaugh promised to obstruct the progress of every bill that is brought to the Legislature this year.

She stated that ‘if this Legislature collectively decides that legislating hate against children is our priority, then I am going to make it painful – painful for everyone’. Keeping her promise, Cavanaugh slowed down the process of passing laws. She did so by introducing amendment after amendment to every bill possible.

Moreover, as the rules allow, she debated for a maximum of eight hours. This week marks the halfway point of the 90-day session. The state of Nebraska only managed to pass a few bills thanks to Cavanaugh’s relentless efforts.

Nebraska advanced only 26 bills from the first out of three rounds of debate. The law requires these three stages to pass a bill. According to Clerk of the Legislature Brandon Metzler, under normal circumstances, this number would have been two to three times higher. In the past three weeks, since Cavanaugh started her filibuster, Nebraska moved forward only three bills.

Anti-trans bills attack trans children

The senator demonstrated how keen she is on protecting trans children. During one of her speeches, she cited a 2022 survey by the Trevor Project. This survey found that 58% of trans and non-binary youth in Nebraska contemplated suicide. Sadly, more than 1 in 5 young trans people even attempted suicide in the past year.

Cavanaugh stated how the anti-trans bill in Nebraska ‘attacks trans children’. It is simply another form of ‘hate’. Trans and gender diverse children in Nebraska deserve someone who stands up and fights for them. This is exactly what Cavanaugh is doing.

Many LGBTQ+ members have expressed their gratitude towards Machaela Cavanaugh’s clear demonstration of allyship. ‘We really see it as a heroic effort’, said Abbi Swatsworth, the executive director of LGBTQ+ advocacy group OutNebraska.

As more US states plan to ban gender-affirming healthcare, Machaela Cavanuagh should be celebrated. Her efforts and perseverance will not go unseen. We applaud the politicians who are true allies to the trans and gender diverse community, and challenge others to follow in Cavanaugh’s footsteps.