2023 wave of bills is fueling a political ‘war against LGBTQ+ people,’ new report shows


I have been reporting on this for years now as the article says “…describes the current political landscape as a “war against LGBTQ people in America and their very right and ability to openly exist.”   These laws have nothing to do with protecting children as they claim but instead are attempts to force regressive religious morality on the entire country by a minority who don’t feel comfortable with “those people” and want them removed from public view / discussion.   With every push to return the country to the society of 100 years ago which rolls back every advancement in civil rights that have been achieved, these people are emboldened to push harder to oppress more people into living the way that maga Christian minority insists they have a right to force everyone else to live as.   It is not enough for them to live as they wish, they insist you live the way they do also, that you believe as they do, that you follow the moral dictates written 2,500 years ago for a culture long gone.    But it is not enough for these people and never will be until they are in charge of and get to rule over every aspect of your life.   Allies of the LGBTQ+ we need to you stand up and add your voice to protect the rights of minorities, women, and the LGBTQ+.   Hugs

Today’s heart rate readings have seen an improvement.   The lowest it has been is 95 the highest sustained was 136 with the average so far of 126 bpm.  So I am getting better.   Still no call from the heart doctor’s office so Monday I will call them.  This has been going on for too long and too dangerous, not to mention causing me to struggle to function.    Hugs

To learn itthe Florida underground railroadrepublican plan 2 yearsFreedom bumpsbook in your backpackBefore I get to burn it.And their kidsBorn girl or be drag queenhate like Christian loveNazi DerSantisThey walk amoung usWhat happened to tolerance for racism

Trans-rights activists protest outside the House chamber at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
Trans-rights activists protest outside the House chamber at the Oklahoma State Capitol on Feb. 6, 2023. (SUE OGROCKI/AP)
From bills in legislatures to restrictions in schools and health care, growing rhetoric throughout the US is part of a “full-out attack” against LGBTQ+ people, advocates say.

The volume and speed of anti-LGBTQ+ bills advancing through state legislatures has already defined 2023 as a historically challenging and frightening year, advocates say.

In a new report, the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), which tracks LGBTQ+ policy, describes the current political landscape as a “war against LGBTQ people in America and their very right and ability to openly exist.” It is a culmination of efforts: gender-affirming care bans for trans youth becoming law in states where such bills were previously blocked, growing efforts to restrict how students learn about LGBTQ+ subjects in schools, an increase in dehumanizing rhetoric that could lead to harassment or violence. 

“I’ve been working in the movement for 15 years,” said Naomi Goldberg, deputy director and LGBTQ program director at MAP. “To me, this is a different moment. … It is hard to see this as anything but a full-out attack and full-out war on LGBTQ+ people when you look at all of the areas of life, at all of the parts of our communities that are being attacked.” 

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the country’s largest LGBTQ+ organization, sounded similar alarm bells earlier in the week. The organization has so far tracked 340 introduced anti-LGBTQ+ bills, including the most anti-transgender bills ever filed that the group has seen. 

Those bills include ones that would prohibit students from playing school sports that match their gender identity and bills that would restrict gender-affirming medical care for minors. Over 90 bills targeting medical care for trans youth have been filed so far, according to the HRC’s count. South Dakota and Utah have already signed such bills into law, while states like Tennessee and Mississippi are quickly moving similar bans through their legislatures. Other proposed bills direct school employees to effectively misgender students, mandating that students are referred to with pronouns that match their sex assigned at birth unless a parent intervenes. 

“This situation is terrifying. It’s scary and it’s harmful. We know last year was bad. … we anticipate this year being historically bad,” Kelley Robinson, the president of HRC, said on a Tuesday press call with reporters. 

Within the past three years, “firsts” in anti-LGBTQ+ bills have piled up, MAP’s analysis finds: the first legislative ban on trans youth playing sports that match their gender identity in Idaho, the first legislative ban on gender-affirming medical care for trans youth in Arkansas, the first state ban on the use of X as a gender marker on identity documents in Oklahoma, and the first “Don’t Say Gay” law passed in 20 years in Florida. 

Efforts outside statehouses are another part of what make the current moment unique, per the report — including child abuse investigations ordered by the state of Texas against families seeking gender-affirming care and Florida’s board of medicine moving to restrict such care for trans youth.

Some LGBTQ+ advocates are concerned about the potential for new anti-trans bills to restrict whether families can seek gender-affirming care in other states if their own state bans the care. In Oklahoma, one bill prohibits doctors from making a referral to “any physician or health care professional for gender transition procedures” for patients under 18. The consequences of such a referral would be meted out by the state, which would have jurisdiction over its own doctors. However, since any referrals would have to be for out-of-state care, it still has the potential to limit interstate travel for gender-affirming care, said Logan Casey, senior policy researcher and adviser for MAP, over email.  

More bathroom bills, which aim to restrict how trans people are able to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, are filed this year than in previous years, per the Human Rights Campaign’s count — and fewer bills targeting how trans students can participate in sports are being introduced. 

Even when the legislation doesn’t become law, it still causes harm, Olivia Hunt, policy director at the National Center for Transgender Equality, stressed during the call. Hunt pointed to a recent poll that found 86 percent of surveyed trans and nonbinary youth said that debates around state laws restricting LGBTQ+ rights for young people negatively impacted their mental health. 

“Trans youth are making their way through an already difficult world, where they’re trying to understand who they are … and on that journey, they’re vulnerable, and they deserve the love, respect and support of their communities. Instead, they’re portrayed as someone to be feared, controlled or erased,” Hunt said.  

The Biden administration has vocally supported LGBTQ+ rights, directing federal agencies to roll back Trump-era policies that advocates denounced as discriminatory and prioritizing data collection on LGBTQ+ experiences. Goldberg said she wants to see enforcement of federal protections from the Biden administration. Those include the Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rule to restore protections for gender identity and sexual orientation under the Affordable Care Act, and Title IX protections proposed by the administration that would apply to trans students. Following Biden’s State of the Union address, HRC called on the administration to finalize both of those rules. 

“I think it would be great to have more leadership,” Goldberg said. 

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