Human Rights Campaign: Pride is More than a Parade

by Aryn Fields

Largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization in the U.S. kicks-off Pride Month with campaign that urges action among lawmakers, businesses, and allies; condemns complacency, in the face of attacks on transgender, non-binary people

The Human Rights Campaign is marking the first day of Pride Month 2023, with a video message that centers the crisis facing the LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender and nonbinary people, and emphasizes the importance of activism during Pride.

This Pride month is about centering our defiant joy. Despite those who are trying to silence us, to push us back into the closet, to erase us under the law, we march and dance in the streets in celebration of one another and of our community.

Far-right lawmakers across the country have waged war on our transgender community in a highly coordinated, well-funded attack rooted in misinformation that has led to the introduction of over 500 anti-LGBTQ+ state bills this past legislative season alone. And in this heightened environment, when we need everyone to stand firm with the LGBTQ+ community, some corporations are cowering in the face of a firestorm of anti-trans sentiment stoked by right-wing extremists.

This is a moment of crisis for our community and our country. But with crisis always comes reckoning. And with reckoning comes the opportunity for bold and transformative change. Together, we will get to a world where we are free and liberated—without exception.

Kelley Robinson, Human Rights Campaign President

In light of recent events, the corporate community must reject and speak out against anti-LGBTQ+ extremism going into Pride Month, and stand firm in their commitment to the LGBTQ+ community. Last week, HRC released a statement condemning Target’s decision to pull their Pride merchandise off the shelves due to conservative backlash. This happened on the heels of HRC suspending Anheuser-Busch's Corporate Equality Index (CEI) score due to their response to the disturbing, horrific backlash against transgender social media influencer, Dylan Mulvaney’s, beer can campaign. HRC is urging businesses to demonstrate their support for LGBTQ+ people by joining the Count Us In pledge.

During the 2023 state legislative session, more than 520 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in statehouses across the country. A total of 74 pieces of legislation have been enacted into law so far 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, 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.

To view HRC’s Pride month webpage that includes video, images and resources click here.

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