Story at a glance
- More than 335 bills that would negatively affect LGBTQ+ Americans are currently being considered by state lawmakers across the country, the Human Rights Campaign said Tuesday in a weekly update of “bad bills.”
- At least 10 states this year have signed anti-LGBTQ+ legislation into law, the HRC said, including Alabama, whose gender-affirming care ban went into effect Sunday.
- Seven states this year have signed transgender athlete bans into law — and more are coming, the HRC said.
More than 335 bills targeting LGBTQ+ people are under consideration in the state legislatures in 36 states, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), an LGBTQ+ advocacy and lobbying group, said Tuesday.
“We must continue our efforts to defeat discriminatory bills and champion pro-equality bills,” the organization wrote Tuesday on Twitter in its weekly update of “bad bills” that are advancing across the country.
This year alone, 17 bills targeting LGBTQ+ people have been signed into law in 10 states, the HRC said, including an Alabama law criminalizing gender-affirming care that went into effect Sunday.
Under that law, it is now a felony in Alabama — punishable by up to a decade in prison — for doctors to provide or recommend puberty blockers, hormone therapies or other gender-affirming interventions to patients younger than 19 years old.
The same law also prevents kindergarten through fifth-grade educators from engaging in classroom instruction related to sexual orientation and gender identity in a manner that is not “age appropriate or developmentally appropriate” for their students.
The measure borrows language from a Florida law passed in March, known to its critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, that bars primary school teachers from addressing those topics with their students altogether. Similar legislation has been introduced in state legislatures nationwide.
Conservative lawmakers this year have also zeroed in on transgender athletes, and seven bills banning transgender students from competing on sports teams that match their gender identity have been signed into law this year.
Proponents of these measures have argued that inherent “biological differences” exist between males and females, and transgender women and girls hold an unfair advantage over cisgender female competitors. Legislators in favor of transgender athlete bans regularly invoke the recent victories of Lia Thomas, a swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania who in March became the first transgender woman to win a national Division I title.
But those opposed to these bills say they are solutions to nonexistent problems that put the mental health and well-being of transgender children at risk. Transgender athlete bans passed this year are “further isolating trans kids and preventing them from having the same opportunities as their friends,” the HRC tweeted Monday, “and more are close to passing.”
In Alaska, state senators are expected to pass Senate Bill 140, which would designate sports teams according to students’ “biological sex.” The measure would then move to the state House of Representatives for consideration.
Although South Carolina is expected to adjourn this week, the legislature is still expected to pass House Bill 4608, or the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” which states that “sports designated for females, women, or girls shall not be open to students of the male sex.”
Another transgender athlete ban, in Louisiana, has passed the Senate and is likely to come up on the House floor either this week or next week, the HRC said Monday.
But the group also acknowledged that legislation benefiting LGBTQ+ people in the U.S. has also been introduced in several places. Last week, the legislature in Hawaii sent House Bill 2405 to the governor’s desk. The measure would prohibit health insurance companies from discriminating against transgender and nonbinary people in the state.