HRC's Weekly State Fights Report: MAGA Extremists Wield Dehumanizing Attacks

by Brandon Wolf

February 12, 2024


  • 41 states are currently in session as of Feb 9

  • Currently tracking:
    • 350+ anti-LGBTQ+ bills

    • 185+ pro-equality bills

  • Three anti-equality bills have passed into law (one in Ohio and two in Utah)

  • One pro-equality bill has passed into law (in Maine)


In recent days, MAGA politicians have become increasingly bold and dangerous in their dehumanization of LGBTQ+ people. In Utah, State Board of Education member Natalie Cline is facing mounting calls to resign after launching a transphobic attack on Facebook against a cisgender teenage basketball player. In a joint statement, the Governor and Lt. Governor said Cline’s behavior had “embarrassed the state.” As a result of the onslaught of hate, the student’s family has been forced to hire private security. Meanwhile, North Carolina Lt. Governor Mark Robinson, who has previously called LGBTQ+ people “filth” and “maggots,” said in a speech that transgender North Carolinians should “find a corner outside somewhere” to go to the restroom.

While shocking and grotesque, this kind of dehumanization and harassment is a feature – not a bug – of the anti-LGBTQ+ agenda. Last year, a high school athlete in Utah was secretly investigated by the high school athletics association when opposing parents questioned her gender. And in Florida, just days after Governor Ron DeSantis signed the state’s ban on transgender youth participating in sports, a sideline of parents hurled transphobic and violent slurs at a girls’ lacrosse player, accusing her of being on the wrong team. This all comes after years of reports from women saying they have been subjected to anti-trans harassment in bathrooms because of the heightened anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and policies being pushed by MAGA extremists.

Again, a feature – not a bug. The anti-LGBTQ+ agenda is about policing gender expression and mandating conformity. And they will use intimidation, harassment, and dehumanization to achieve it.


Pro-equality advocates, including HRC, will host a Lobby Day event and press conference at the Tennessee Capitol on Tuesday to oppose a slate of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. That includes SB 596, which is poised to pass the Senate this afternoon, which would permit government employees responsible for solemnizing marriages as part of their job duties to refuse to do so if they assert a moral or religious objection.


Pro-Equality Bills:

  • Michigan: Last Wednesday, four pro-LGBTQ+ bills received a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. HB5300 would allow for family court to change names for individuals, including minors, upon request. HB5301, HB5302, and HB5303 are all bills that would allow individuals to indicate a sex designation of "M," "F," or "X" on their applications for driver’s licenses, state identification cards and birth certificates. A committee vote could come as early as Wednesday.

Anti-Equality Bills:

  • Arizona: Last Wednesday, three anti-LGBTQ+ bills passed through the Senate Education Committee: SB1166, a forced outing bill, SB1182, an anti-transgender bathroom bill, and SCR1013, a ballot referral that would restrict transgender students from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity and allow educators to refuse to use their proper names. If passed through both chambers, SCR1013 would not require the Governor’s signature and would go directly to the November ballot for consideration.

  • Florida: This week, we anticipate a vote in the Infrastructure Strategies Subcommittee on HB1639, a bill that makes insurance coverage of gender-affirming care for adults conditional on the coverage of detransition care - which should already be covered - and requires insurers to offer options that exclude coverage for gender affirming care as part of their option package.

  • Georgia: HB1045, a ‘Don’t Say LGBTQ+’ curriculum censorship bill, and HB1128, an LGBTQ+ Erasure Act, have been introduced and are awaiting committee assignments. HB 1128 would define sex based on genitalia, chromosomes, and reproductive organs. It would remove the term "gender" anywhere it appears in state code and replace it with the term "sex"; and require all state laws, rules, and guidelines to treat individuals according to the sex they were assigned at birth. In addition, the bill revises the Georgia hate crimes prevention law to remove sexual orientation and gender.

  • Idaho: Last Wednesday, the Idaho House passed H. 421, an LGBTQ+ Erasure Act. The bill will now move to the Senate for consideration.

  • Missouri: HB1518, a religious refusal bill that would allow student organizations that are political, ideological, or religious in nature to accept university funding and discriminate against other students, received a hearing in the House Special Committee on Government Accountability and is likely to be brought up for a committee vote this week.

  • Tennessee: Last Wednesday, HB1632, an anti-LGBTQ+ curriculum censorship bill, was heard in the House Education Administration Committee.


For years, transgender people have warned of radical anti-LGBTQ+ forces’ true aim: to abuse governmental power to take away our freedoms and drive trans people out of public society. They want to humiliate, harass and use policy to eliminate transgender people from public life."

Kelley Robinson, HRC President in USA Today

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