Story at a glance:

  • So far in 2021, eight bills advocates call anti-LGBTQ+ have been enacted, and 10 more are being considered.
  • 2021 is shaping up to have more anti-LGBTQ+ laws passed than any other year.
  • A lot of the bills revolve around trans people playing sports and allowing doctors to refuse to perform gender-affirming medical care due to their religious beliefs.

There is a “state of crisis” for those who identify within the LGBTQ+ community, some advocates warn.

There has been an uptick in legislation that targets LGBTQ+ people in red states like Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama, NBC News reported.

"[The bills] attempt to erase transgender people and attempt to make LGBTQ people second-class citizens,” Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said during a news conference on April 22.


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These "unprecedented" times in 2021 have cast a dark cloud on the pride community, arguably becoming, "the worst year for state legislative attacks against LGBTQ people in history,” said David.

The distinction for the worst year to be in the LGBTQ+ community used to be 2015, which had 15 anti-LGBTQ+ bills enacted into law, David said. So far in 2021, eight bills targeting LGBTQ+ people have been signed into law, with an additional 10 more awaiting a Republican governor's signature, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

“Just to underscore the severity of these bills and the dangerous threshold we are about to cross: If these bills are enacted, it would mean that states will have enacted more anti-LGBTQ bills this year alone than in the last three years combined,” David said.

Republican Govs. Kristi Noem in South Dakota and Asa Hutchinson in Arkansas have signed religious freedom bills in their states that allow doctors to refuse medical care to LGBTQ+ people. South Dakota also has two executive orders that prohibit trans girls from playing on or against girls sports teams.

So far in 2021, eight bills targeting LGBTQ+ people have become law, most of them centered on transgender minors.

Governors in four states — Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama — have signed bills banning trans athletes from competing on school sports teams that align with their gender identity.

As Changing America previously reported, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey might be considering legislation that bans transgender youth from playing on sports teams and criminally prosecutes doctors or others for prescribing hormone therapies and puberty blockers for people under the age of 19.


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Published on Apr 27, 2021