Weekly Roundup of Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation Advancing In States Across the Country

by Cullen Peele

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As extremist lawmakers in state houses across the country continue advancing a record-breaking number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills in state legislatures, the Human Rights Campaign — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — is providing the below snapshot (updated weekly) to illustrate the hostile legislative climate facing LGBTQ+ people, and the scale and scope with which the ongoing legislative assault is being waged.

This weaponization of public policy has been driven by extremist groups that have a long history in working to oppress the existence and rights of LGBTQ+ people. Several of these organizations have been deemed hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center, such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council.

Year-to-Date Snapshot: 2023 Anti-LGBTQ+ State Legislative Activity

  • Over 520 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in state legislatures, a record;

  • Over 220 bills specifically target transgender and non-binary people, also a record; and

  • A record 74 anti-LGBTQ laws have been enacted so far this year, including:
    • Laws banning gender affirming care for transgender youth: 16

    • Laws requiring or allowing misgendering of transgender students: 7

    • Laws targeting drag performances: 2

    • Laws creating a license to discriminate: 3

    • Laws censoring school curriculum, including books: 13

Notable 2023 Trends & Topline Analysis

  • There have been more anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in state houses this year than in each of the previous five years; with the increase in LGBTQ Erasure bills, bills that strip away dozens of legal protections and rights for LGBTQ+ people, coming as the newest form of attacks on the community

  • More than 125 bills would prevent trans youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care, in addition to more than 45 bills banning transgender students from playing school sports and more than 30 “bathroom bills,” a figure that exceeds the number bathroom bills filed in any previous year.

Notable Bills Advanced in the Past Week (updated as of May 30, 2023)

More than 145 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have passed at least one chamber this calendar year. Some notable bills that advanced this past week or may advance this week include:

  • Alabama:
    • HB 405: “LGBTQ+ Erasure” bill, creates an unworkable definition of sex

  • Louisiana:
    • HB 466: would impose a “Don’t Say LGBTQ+” style law

    • HB 81: would allow schools to forcibly out and intentionally misgender transgender and non-binary students

  • Ohio:
    • HB 68: would prohibit gender affirming care

    • SB 83: would restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs or trainings

    • HB 6: would prohibit gender affirming care for transgender youth

The following bills have additionally been enacted into law.

  • Iowa:
    • SF 496: imposes a “Don’t Say LGBTQ+” style law, banning discussions of classroom topics in grades K-6

    • SF: 391: removes information about HIV and AIDS from required curriculum standards in the state.

  • Montana:
    • HB 359: places restrictions on drag performances in the state

Additional bills that are in the final stages in the legislature or are awaiting signature from the state’s governor:

  • Florida:
    • SB 170: would discourage cities from passing non-discrimination ordinances by raising the barriers to proposing ordinances and making it easier to challenge ordinances in court

  • Missouri:
    • SB 39: would ban transgender students from participating in school sports

    • SB 49: would ban gender affirming care for transgender youth

  • Texas:
    • SB 15: would impose an anti-trans sports ban for public universities,

    • SB 763: would allow chaplains to serve as counselors in public schools,

    • SB 12: would ban drag shows with a civil penalty and a criminal offense,

    • SB 17: would prohibit DEI offices in state colleges and universities,

    • HB 890: imposes a “Don’t Say LGBTQ+” style law, banning discussions of classroom topics in grades K-12

  • Despite the traction gained by anti-equality legislation in the past week, progress for legal equality for LGBTQ+ people were advanced in the following ways:
    • In Michigan, lawmakers introduced legislation that would prohibit the dangerous practice of conversion therapy

    • In Louisiana, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted to involuntarily defer HB 648, a dangerous attack on age-appropriate, best-practice health care for transgender youth

    • In Arizona, Governor Katie Hobbs vetoed SB 1001, which would have made it illegal for teachers and other school personnel to respect the pronouns of a trans or non-binary student without written parental permission.

Public Opinion Roundup: Recent LGBTQ+ Polling

A polling memo released recently by the Human Rights Campaign highlights a series of recent national polls revealing that Americans are growing increasingly opposed to anti-LGBTQ+ legislation sweeping through state houses, finding the push excessive and nothing more than “political theater.”

Key Points:

  • ANTI-LGBTQ+ BILLS — 64% of all likely voters think there is “too much legislation” aimed at “limiting the rights of transgender and gay people in America” — including 72% of Democrats, 65% of Independents, and 55% of Republicans [source].

  • GENDER AFFIRMING CARE — Two recent national surveys report opposition to bans on gender affirming care — one indicating 54% opposition [source] and the other indicating 53% opposition [source].

  • DRAG BANS — Nearly six in 10 (58%) Americans oppose laws that would restrict drag shows or performances in their state, while 39% support legislation to restrict these performances. While 61% of Republicans are in favor of these bans, 73% of Democrats and 57% of Independents oppose the proposed limitations [source].

  • BOOK & CURRICULUM BANS — Majorities disapprove of banning LGBTQ+ content in schools — nearly 60% of Americans believe middle school libraries should include materials related to “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” [source]

Looking Back at the 2022 State Legislative Sessions

In a coordinated push led by national anti-LGBTQ+ groups, which deployed vintage discriminatory tropes, politicians in statehouses across the country introduced 315 discriminatory anti-LGBTQ+ bills in 2022 and 29 passed into law. Despite this, fewer than 10% of these efforts succeeded. The majority of the discriminatory bills – 149 bills – targeted the transgender and non-binary community, with the majority targeting children receiving the brunt of discriminatory legislation. By the end of the 2022 legislative session, a record 17 bills attacking transgender and non-binary children passed into law.

Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation took several forms, including:

  • 80 bills aimed to prevent transgender youth from playing school sports consistent with their gender identity. 19 states now exclude transgender athletes in school sports.

  • 42 bills to prevent transgender and non-binary youth from receiving life-saving, medically-necessary gender-affirming healthcare. 5 states now restrict access to gender-affirming care.

  • 70 curriculum censorship bills tried to turn back the clock and restrict teachers from discussing LGBTQ+ issues and other marginalized communities in their classrooms. 7 passed into law.

For more information about the onslaught of state legislative bills being introduced in state houses across the country, or to request an interview with an HRC legislative expert, please contact press@hrc.org.

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 press@hrc.org.