The Turning Tide: Every Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill Defeated as Georgia Session Ends

by Brandon Wolf

11th Hour Attacks on Transgender Youth Thwarted as Session Comes to a Close

ATLANTA — Georgia’s state legislative session came to a close early this morning, with legislators failing to advance any of the more than 20 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in Georgia this year. In the waning days of session, MAGA lawmakers in the Senate launched a last ditch effort to further restrict freedoms for LGBTQ+ young people and families, hijacking two unrelated bills and stuffing them with anti-LGBTQ+ amendments. Neither bill was taken up for a vote in the House.

Georgia joins a host of other states with Republican-majority legislatures in which anti-LGBTQ+ legislation has stalled this year. In neighboring Florida, more than 20 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were defeated in this year’s legislative session. In West Virginia, a similar story unfolded. And in Arizona, an effort to put an anti-LGBTQ+ measure on the ballot this November failed after transgender Arizonans met with a GOP senator, moving him to oppose the bill. The sum total is a shifting political tide and more evidence that legislators are beginning to realize that the extreme anti-LGBTQ+ agenda is deeply unpopular across the country.

HRC Georgia State Director Bentley Hudgins released the following statement:

“MAGA politicians in Georgia tried it all in service to their anti-LGBTQ+ agenda, including silencing debate and gutting unrelated, popular bills that had bipartisan support to ram through policies that would have put young LGBTQ+ Georgians in harm’s way. They failed. Everyday Georgians heroically showed up, over and over again, to demand that our lawmakers get back to the business of solving real problems. We showed up to reject the failing anti-LGBTQ+ agenda. We showed up for each other, for our communities. We won on many fronts - but unfortunately, our immigrant family, union siblings and voting rights advocate allies need continued support and we stand strongly together. We will continue to organize for a future where every Georgian is treated with dignity, respect and equitable opportunity. ”

The 20+ defeated anti-LGBTQ+ bills this session included attempts to:

  • Enact a state religious refusal bill, which could have granted a license to discriminate against LGBTQ+ Georgians and other marginalized communities more broadly

  • Bar transgender and nonbinary students from using the school bathroom facilities that align with their gender identity

  • Install sweeping sex education regulations that verged on “Don’t Say LGBTQ+”-style restrictions

  • Ban transgender students from participating in school sports on teams that align with their gender identity

  • Further restrict access to health care for transgender youth

  • Restrict drag performances in the state

The successful defeat of all anti-LGBTQ+ bills came after months of organizing from advocates and allies. In February, hundreds of LGBTQ+ community members, allies and advocates staged “Pride to the Capitol,” a day of LGBTQ+ solidarity, joy and resilience in the face of an onslaught of legislative attacks in Atlanta and around the country. Volunteers made countless trips to the Capitol to testify, showing up in force with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and partner organizations like Georgia Equality, Georgia Youth Justice Coalition and more.

Business leaders have also expressed strong opposition to anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. More than 300 major U.S. corporations have spoken out to oppose anti-LGBTQ+ bills 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 that discrimination is bad for business and to call on lawmakers to abandon these efforts. Over 100 large employers have also signed onto the Count Us In pledge, which includes a commitment to ensure access to health care for their transgender and nonbinary employees.

Last month, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Metro Atlanta Chamber publicly opposed SB 180, a license to discriminate that would have allowed religious beliefs to be used as a justification for violating the basic civil rights of others, saying in a joint statement: “We believe it is best to focus on issues like workforce development, infrastructure and education which move our state forward and improve the quality of life for all Georgians. … we oppose any efforts, including SB 180, that would undermine the state’s strong reputation we have built together.”

According to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2023 State Equality Index, Georgia remains a “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality,” designating the state as one in which “advocates focus on raising support for basic LGBTQ+ equality, such as non-discrimination protections in employment, housing and public accommodations.”

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.


Contact Us

To make a general inquiry, please visit our contact page. Members of the media can reach our press office at: (202) 572-8968 or email