On June 6, 2023, the largest LGBTQ+ advocacy group in the United States of America declared its first-ever national state of emergency, decrying the increase in LGBTQ + legislation it says is trying to regulate the lives of queer Americans.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) said over 70 anti-LGBTQ + bills had been signed into the law this year, which is more than twice the previous year’s record. Most of the recent proposals and policies affect and impact transgenders.
Over 525 state bills that attack the LGBTQ + Community have been introduced this legislative session alone almost entirely by Republican Lawmakers. Out of these, 220 targets the transgender community.
The HRC released a guidebook with “Know Your Rights” information to support LGBTQ+ travellers and those living in states with adversarial laws. The organisation’s legislative impact report found a steady increase in the anti-LGBTQ + people in general to transgender and non-binary youth.
The number of adversarial bills took a staggering leap in just under a decade -skyrocketing from 115 in 2015 to over 500 in 2023. These bills limit bathrooms which transgenders can use, ban gender-affirming care, ban transgender people from spots and ban drug performances, among other things.
According to the report, the bills aim to legislate LGBTQ + people from all aspects of life. The report also noted that the LGBTQ+ youth who attend schools with an inclusive curriculum feel safer, are safer and do better in school.”
The HRC President Kelly Robinson named Florida, Texas, and Tennessee for their negative policies, which include banning educators from talking about LGBTQ+ issues and teaching black history and banning gender-affirming care and abortion care.”
Robinson mentioned Florida Governor Ron De Santis that the Republican “weaponised his position as a lawmaker to target the LGBTQ+ families.”
“These laws are fuelled by an Anti-LGBTQ+ Republican establishment and coordinated and well-funded extremist groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom, Heritage Foundation and Family Policy Alliance who are insisted on trying to control our families and rights,” Robinson said.
The Alliance Defending Freedom called HRC’s statements “slanderous” and said that it was committed to religious liberties, parental rights, and the “sanctity of life”
“No amount of false accusations will deter us from the mission, “Senior Vice President Jeremy Tedesco said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Jeremy Redfern, a spokesperson for the De Santis, called the state of emergency a “Stunt”. Advocates of the bills that HRC deems anti-LGBTQ+ say that they are looking for children from misguided parents, and doctors who support gender transition through major medical associations endorse gender-affirming care as necessary and often life-saving.
According to a UN Expert, Victor-Madrigal Borloz, the human rights of the LGBTQ+ community is threatened and undermined by some state governments in the US and has urged the Biden Administration to strengthen measures to protect them.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, twenty states now ban gender-affirming care, and 32 states introduced legislation this year, putting half of all transgender youth at risk. Currently, there are 22 states with transgender sports bans, and nine have bathroom bans.
In addition, the LGBTQ+ Community has experienced gender discrimination and harm from healthcare systems and medical science. They are also victims of verbal abuse, vandalism and violence.
Some steps that the Biden Administration can take are the creation of overarching multi-agencies priorities to improve the well-being of the LGBTQ+ people and increase access to affordable, high-quality, non-discriminatory health care services and insurance benefits by fostering inclusive labour practises and workplace policies which will enable economic security and financial stability of the LGBTQ+ people.
The US government can protect the civil rights of LGBTQ +people engaged with the criminal legal system and law enforcement.