Baton Rouge, Louisiana – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, condemns Louisiana legislators for advancing three discriminatory bills targeting LGBTQ+ youth. The Senate passed an extreme Gender Affirming Care Ban (HB 648), “Don’t Say LGBTQ+” Bill (HB 466) and Pronoun Restriction Bill (HB 81), which will be sent to Gov. John Bel Edwards for signature or veto.
The Gender Affirming Care Ban (HB 648) would ban physicians from providing age-appropriate, best practice health care for transgender minors under the age of 18. This bill contradicts guidelines recommended by every major medical association including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and more because gender-affirming care saves lives. The Louisiana Senate revived the proposed ban, which the Senate Health & Welfare Committee killed last month.
The “Don’t Say LGBTQ+” Bill (HB 466) prevents students and educators across the state from having and providing safe, inclusive classrooms. It will block teachers from talking about LGBTQ+ issues or people, further stigmatizing LGBTQ+ people and isolating LGBTQ+ kids. HB 466 silences educators by banning the instruction and discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity during any extracurricular academic, athletic, or social activities in grades K-12. It also bans school employees and other presenters from discussing their own sexual orientation or gender identity. The Pronoun Restriction Bill (HB 81) allows schools to forcibly out and intentionally misgender transgender and non-binary students.
THE FACTS: 2023 Becoming Worst Year On Record for Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation
So far in 2023, HRC is opposing more than 530 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. A total of 74 pieces of legislation have been enacted into law this year. More than 225 of those bills would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date. This year, HRC is tracking:
More than 125 gender-affirming care bans — bills that would prevent transgender youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; this year, 16 have already become law in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma, Florida, and Nebraska
More than 30 anti-transgender bathroom bills filed;
More than 100 anti-LGBTQ+ curriculum censorship bills, and;
45 anti-LGBTQ+ drag performance ban bills.
Americans believe the amount of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is excessive, agreeing it is “political theater.” Likely voters across all political parties look at GOP efforts to flood state legislatures with anti-LGBTQ+ legislation as political theater. Recent polling indicates that 64% of all likely voters, including 72% of Democrats, 65% of Independents, and 55% of Republicans think that there is “too much legislation” aimed at “limiting the rights of transgender and gay people in America” (Data For Progress survey of 1,220 likely voters, 3/24-26, 2023).
By comparison, last year in 2022 politicians in statehouses across the country introduced 315 anti-LGBTQ+ bills, 29 of which were enacted into law. These efforts — the result of a coordinated push led by national anti-LGBTQ+ groups, which deployed vintage discriminatory tropes seeking to slander, malign, and stigmatize LGBTQ+ people — only yielded a less than 10% success rate, as more than 90% of anti-LGBTQ+ bills were defeated. The majority of the discriminatory bills – 149 bills – targeted the transgender and non-binary community, with the majority targeting children. By the end of the 2022 state legislative season, a record 17 bills attacking transgender and non-binary children were enacted into law.
More than 300 major U.S. corporations have stood up and spoken out to oppose anti-LGBTQ+ legislation being proposed in states across the country. Major employers in tech, manufacturing, hospitality, health care, retail, and other sectors are joining with a unified voice to say discrimination is bad for business and to call on lawmakers to abandon these efforts. Four of the largest U.S. food companies also condemned “dangerous, discriminatory legislation that serves as an attack on LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly transgender and nonbinary people,” and the Walton Family Foundation issued a statement expressing “alarm” at the trend of anti-transgender legislation that recently became law in Arkansas.
According to the latest data this year from PRRI, support for LGBTQ+ rights is on the rise in Louisiana and nationwide: 80% of Louisiana residents support nondiscrimination protections, and 61% of Louisiana residents oppose refusal of service on religious grounds. About eight in ten Americans (80%) favor laws that would protect LGBTQ+ people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing. This reflects a dramatic increase in the proportion of Americans who support nondiscrimination protections since 2015, when it was 71%.
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