With anti-equality forces in control of so many state legislatures, unprecedented anti-LGBTQ threats have ramped up in states across the country. We've seen the same national anti-LGBTQ organizations push hateful and dangerous bill after hateful and dangerous bill in state legislatures nationwide.
The latest anti-LGBTQ bills attempt to sell the same myths about LGBTQ people and they're designed to do the same thing as countless other bills proposed in recent years: threaten LGBTQ equality and divide this country further at a time when we need to double down on our pursuit of equality and justice.
But yet again, the Human Rights Campaign is hard at work fighting these bills across the country, and we intend to stop them from moving forward wherever possible. By working with our state partners and mobilizing our allies and supporters in these states, we can stamp out hate and demonstrate once again that these discriminatory bills are destined to fail.
As legislatures convene and the first bills are introduced, we are staring down proposed bans on transgender women and girls participating in women’s and girls’ sports in Arizona (SB 1637), Connecticut (SB 324), Georgia (HB 276), Iowa (HF 184), Kentucky (SB 106), Minnesota (HF 350), Mississippi (SB 2536), Missouri (HB 1045 and HJR 53), Montana (HB 112), New Hampshire (HB 198), North Dakota (HB 1298 and HB 1476), Ohio (HB 61), Oklahoma (SB 331), South Carolina (HB 3477), South Dakota (HB 1217), Tennessee (HB 0003, HB 1458, and SB 228), and Texas (SB 373 and HB 1458). We are seeing anti-transgender medical bans introduced in Alabama (HB 1 and SB 10), Arizona (SB 1511), Indiana (SB 0224), Iowa (HF 193), Mississippi (SB 2171), Missouri (HB 33 and SB 422), Montana (HB 113), New Hampshire (HB 68), Oklahoma (SB 583 and SB 676), Texas (HB 68 and HB 1399), and Utah (HB 92). We’re also tracking anti-transgender hate crimes bills and so-called “Religious Freedom and Restoration Act” religious refusal bills, and we expect many more threats to be introduced as legislative sessions take shape across the country. Our opponents continue to work to sow fear, as they did to resist marriage equality and non-discrimination laws, and their tactics continue to backfire.
That’s because, while some states push an anti-equality agenda, we know that LGBTQ issues share broad popular support across the board even among Republican voters. Over the course of the last six legislative sessions, we’ve defeated better than 95% of the anti-LGBTQ bills that have been introduced, so we know that we can win again. We also know that organizations like the American Principles Project failed in their effort to push anti-transgender rhetoric as an electoral ploy in recent elections.
We're thrilled to see more pro-equality bills move through state legislatures. We’re supporting dozens of bills around the country, on topics ranging from making it easier to update identity documents to modernizing family law, to prohibiting conversion therapy, to expanding non-discrimination protections. One notable bill by history-making Del. Danica Roem of Virginia would ban the so-called "panic defense" that allows perpetrators of violence against LGBTQ people to justify their actions based upon fear of LGBTQ people. Her bill will help make LGBTQ people safer and bring justice to victims of violence in the midst of our national epidemic of fatal transgender violence, which is reaching a peak.
While we may have tough battles ahead, we are resolved to tackle these bills and make progress where we can, continuing to move the ball forward on progress and justice for LGBTQ people in every state. Last year’s elections should provide us with immense reason for hope and should only steel our commitment to marching forward.