Over 100 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced across the US in 2023 – and it’s not even February

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Not a promising start for LGBTQ+ folk in the US with approximately 120 new bills targeting LGBT+ people already

 

Over 100 bills targeting LGBTQ+ rights have been filed across 22 states already in 2023 – all in Republican controlled states, unsurprisingly.

Equality Texas reports that the Lone Star State is the leading the pack with such filings, clocking 36 in total, per NBC.

Missouri is next with 26, then North Dakota with eight and Oklahoma with six.

 

The majority of these filings target LGBTQ+ youth and trans rights for people of various ages.

Comparing those numbers year-on-year, it’s likely that that number will increase in the coming weeks. Last year, by March, the annual number of anti-LGBTQ bills filed in the US had catapulted from 41 throughout the whole of 2018, to 238 in less than three months of 2022.

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NBC‘s report further details that 18 states across the US have imposed bans on trans athletes in sports in the last three years. 

LGBTQ+ think tank Movement Advancement Project say:

“Recently, anti-LGBTQ opponents have introduced – and passed – laws to ban transgender youth from participating in school sports, most frequently in K-12 schools but sometimes including in college. These laws mean that transgender girls, for example, would not be allowed to participate in sports with other girls. Local schools and state athletic associations already have policies that both protect transgender people and ensure a level playing field for all athletes. In contrast, the policies shown below are blanket bans on transgender people’s participation in sports, and they are both unnecessary and harmful.”

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States banning trans students via lgbtmap.org

Lawmakers in at least three states have introduced bills to restrict transgender girls and women from playing on female sports teams, and lawmakers in at least 11 states have proposed bills that would restrict gender-affirming health care for minors, per NBC.

Four states have enacted restrictions on gender-affirming medical care for minors, being: Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee and Arizona. Though federal judges have blocked them from taking effect in Arkansas and Alabama.

One such bill has been introduced, in Oklahoma, that would effectively ban all gender affirming care in the state – regardless of age – by banning all state and federal funding to any provider.


A new slate of bills targeting drag performers has also emerged in 2023.

In the past 12 months, the US has seen a sharp rise in anti-drag rhetoric and hate-fuelled protests, targeting drag events, typically led by right-wing militants including members of Proud Boys and Patriot Front.

Advocacy groups have suggested that the targeting of drag shows is a direct response to calls for stricter gun control, as a way to divert attention from demands for effective reform.

Extremist MAGA subscribers are made aware of these events by social media accounts like Libs of TikTok, which shares event details in the hope of inciting disruption.

2023 bills filed in Arizona, Arkansas, Montana, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia would ban minors from attending drag performances – such as Drag Queen Story Hour, events tailored for young people – and seek to classify any business that hosts such performances as cabaret or a “sexually oriented business.”