Helena, Montana — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — slammed Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte today for signing HB 359, a new bill to ban minors from attending drag performances across the state. The dangerous practice of banning LGBTQ+ events, spaces, and culture – including drag performances – is part of a large-scale attack on the LGBTQ+ community and an attempt to put LGBTQ+ people, particularly transgender and non-binary people, back in the closet and labeled as dangerous.
Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow issued the following statement today:
“From community performances of Shakespeare to famous family movies like Mrs. Doubtfire, drag performances have been a form of entertainment for millions of Americans for generations. This new law will further alienate members of Montana’s LGBTQ+ community. It’s a sad state of affairs when extremist politicians enact new laws that hurt their constituents instead of helping them.”
So far in 2023, HRC is opposing more than 520 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. A total of 71 pieces of legislation have been enacted into law this year. More than 220 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, 15 have already become law in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Dakota, Montana, Oklahoma, and Florida
More than 30 anti-transgender bathroom bills filed;
More than 100 anti-LGBTQ+ curriculum censorship bills, and;
45 anti-LGBTQ+ drag performance ban bills.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
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