Resilience: One Year After Human Rights Campaign Declared National ‘State of Emergency,’ New HRC Report Shows LGBTQ+ People and Allies Turning the Tide Toward Equality

by Delphine Luneau

Following 2023’s Spike in Attacks By Anti-LGBTQ+ Politicians Stripping Away Rights From Many Across the Country, 2024 Has Seen Community Members and Advocates Shift Momentum

New Report From HRC Shows How In Republican-Controlled Legislatures in States Such as Arizona, Florida, Georgia and West Virginia, Continued Anti-LGBTQ+ Efforts by MAGA Politicians Largely Failed

Despite Progress in 2024, Many Millions of People Still Struggling Under Years of Harmful, Discriminatory Policies Directly Targeting Our Right to Exist as Full Members of Society

WASHINGTON, D.C. — One year ago today, at the height of the worst year in at least a decade for anti-LGBTQ+ bills – particularly anti-transgender bills – introduced and passed in state legislatures across the country, the Human Rights Campaign declared a national State of Emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans. The declaration drew national attention to the urgent crises facing members of the LGBTQ+ community that were unfolding at the hands of MAGA politicians advancing legislation to dictate how we access healthcare, what we read and how visible we are allowed to be in society.

Today, the state of the community is defiant, resilient, and strong. A new report from HRC, “One Year Later: LGBTQ+ Resilience & Strength Amid National State of Emergency,” details how LGBTQ+ community members and allies pushed back and defeated many legislative attacks made by MAGA-aligned politicians over the past year. Following the 2023 election cycle, which saw anti-LGBTQ+ candidates and ads fail in races in Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky, anti-LGBTQ+ legislation almost entirely failed in states such as Arizona, Florida, Georgia and West Virginia during the 2024 state legislative sessions. 2024 also has seen pro-equality legislation passed in states like Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan and Washington.

“Despite years of relentless attacks and dehumanizing rhetoric, LGBTQ+ people and our allies have continued to show up: for each other, our families, and the right to live our lives. People across the country have continued pouring into state houses to speak out and push back against the anti-LGBTQ+ agenda. They have continued to show up at the ballot box to reject bigotry and hate. The fight for that future is far from over and millions are still living in a crushing state of emergency created by MAGA bullies. But what’s clear is that the people will prevail. And when we show up, equality wins.”

Kelley Robinson, Human Rights Campaign President

The report highlights the crucial role that pro-equality governors have played in pushing back the tide of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, as Arizona’s Katie Hobbs, Kansas’ Laura Kelly and Wisconsin’s Tony Evers all vetoed legislation targeting LGBTQ+ people — most of them specifically targeting transgender youth.

The Biden-Harris Administration has also issued a series of new pro-equality rules in the past year, safeguarding protections against discrimination in education, health care, the workplace, the foster care system, and others. These rules apply nationwide, further extending the record of the Biden-Harris team as the most pro-equality administration in history.

Despite the shifting momentum, MAGA politicians in some states have doubled down on their hate-filled agenda. The states where attacks continued unabated are led by Tennessee, which entered 2024 already leading the nation in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation passed since 2015 and proceeded to pass seven more anti-LGBTQ+ laws, bringing its total to 24 laws on the books that attack our ability to exist in the state. Other states that passed multiple discriminatory laws this year include Alabama, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming.

LGBTQ+ Americans and allies responded to the State of Emergency by showing up everywhere our voices could have an impact — testifying in legislative hearings, showing up at rallies, and crucially, at the ballot box in the fall of 2023, an off-year election in which the agenda of MAGA bullies was rejected in Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. Now 75 million strong, Equality Voters (those who prioritize LGBTQ+ equality when deciding who to vote for), are again positioned to determine the outcome of major elections this coming November and deliver an important message nationwide: when we show up, equality wins.

Click here to read the report “One Year Later: LGBTQ+ Resilience & Strength Amid National State of Emergency”

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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