In response to the growing efforts of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the US in 2023, the Human Rights Campaign has declared what it calls a state of emergency for members of the LGBTQ+ community. It also published new state guidelines on community issues in various states.
On June 6, the LGBTQ+ lobby group released a guide to more than 75 LGBTQ+ restrictive bills implemented in 2023. These include more than 200 proposed bills targeting transgender youth.
The HRC’s warning comes at the start of Pride Month, when hundreds of thousands of people will travel across the country to take part in Pride parades.
It also follows anti-gay laws signed into law in places like Florida, where some pride events have been canceled due to safety concerns. The NAACP issued a travel warning for Florida, saying the state has been hostile “…towards African-Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals.”
We requested a statement from HSC regarding possible travel warnings, but did not receive a response in time for publication. However, the HCC report provides insight into the group’s decision to issue the warning and guidance.
“In 2023, we entered a new phase of legislative attacks, with bills in many states designed to wipe out entire communities of people under the law,” the HRC report said. “These new laws create dangerous situations and prevent people from participating in public life. In 2023 alone, more than 525 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were introduced in 41 states, 220 of which specifically targeted transgender youth.”
The report takes into account actions taken by states, such as banning drag shows, promoting reassignment therapy, and cracking down on gender-affirming care. It also includes states’ stance on bathrooms based on transgender identification and transgender student participation in school sports. In addition, HSC outlines states with legislation such as LGBTQ+ erasure laws, the Don’t Say Gay bill, pronoun rejection laws, and mandatory student walkout laws.
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CLARIFICATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
HRC says its guidance is “designed to support all individuals and families, regardless of their choices or options,” and provides resources for those in affected states.
For example, HRC encourages visitors and locals alike to review its State Equality Index, a comprehensive report on state laws and policies that affect members of the LGBTQ+ community and their families. HRC also encourages people to explore the Municipal Equality Index for a more in-depth look at specific city laws. For additional resources, HRC provides an interactive State Maps feature that outlines relevant laws and policies related to nondiscrimination, health care, and youth, among other issues that affect members of the LGBTQ+ community.
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So far this year, HHS notes that 41 states have introduced more than 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills, including 22 states that now restrict transgender students from participating in school sports and 10 states that restrict transgender students from using restrooms. It also notes that 19 states have bans on gender-affirming health care for transgender and non-binary minors, and one additional bill is on the governor’s desk as of the report’s release.
Nationally, much attention has been paid to recent legislation signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis that affects schools, including legislation that restricts educational materials such as books and teacher guides related to gender and sexuality, as well as legislation that bans is to allow transgender people to use publicly owned restrooms. areas such as airports;
“In 11 states, school staff can either misgender transgender students, force them to ‘turn in’ to their parents, even if doing so puts the student at risk at home, or be bound by ‘Don’t Tell LGBTQ+’ laws that restrict them. even the ability to recognize the existence of LGBTQ+ people,” says the HRC report.
“Several states have combined administrative attacks on transgender youth and their families with legislative attacks, including Florida, Missouri, and Texas,” the HRC report continued. “Some of these laws have been upheld by federal courts, and dozens of additional lawsuits have been filed in recent months.”