By: Amber Montoya and Ethan An July 27, 2023
On June 6th, 2023, the Human Rights Campaign issued a state of emergency for the LGBTQ+ Community for the first time in over 4 decades. The Human Rights Campaign is one of the largest organizations that seeks to promote the civil rights of the LGBTQ+ community and has done so since 1980. The call for a state of emergency lies in the overwhelmingly large amount of bills that greedy politicians are passing, with over 70 across 41 states targeting the LGBTQ+ community. Shockingly, over 500 bills have been introduced in 2023 alone across these 41 states. This is the most political hate directed at the LGBTQ+ community bill-wise since 1980.
June is known as pride month: the celebration of how far the LGBTQ+ community has come and how individuals are allowed to be themselves, but the bills have only caused heartache and fear across the nation. So far, statistics have shown that the majority of bills are being passed in southern states (Florida, Texas, etc). 220 of them are meant to target transgender and nonbinary youth. While minors (those under 18) are currently being affected the most by these bills, politicians are trying to expand the bills to affect adults as well. Examples of the bans targeted towards youth include but are not limited to, the banning of transgender students in sports, the banning of gender-affirming care, and the transgender bathroom bans in public k-12 schools. Transgender youth participating in sports has been banned in 21 states and students affected range from as young as kindergarteners to older college students. The reasoning given behind banning youth in sports is the worry that transgender youth have an advantage over cis-gender youth due to their assigned sex at birth. Though, this has been disproven by several sports competitions as an article by Scientific American shows that the majority of winners in sports are cis-gender youth. There is no illustrated advantage that transgender youth have in sports so far. Gender-affirming care has also been banned in 20 states, meaning that the youth can no longer get any medically necessary and safe healthcare to reaffirm their gender identity and ease their dysphoria. Lastly, bathroom bans refuse to let youth use the restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities of the gender they identify with and are only allowed to use the bathroom of their sex given at birth. Everyone, members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies alike, have begun to panic and advocate for their civil rights in response to this injustice.
Over 30% of all youth are being affected by these bans. Still, politicians continue to push their malicious agenda under the guise of “letting kids be kids'' and “protecting children'' from “misguided parents and doctors.” The effect of this has been disheartening to see. There have been more violence and hate crimes directed towards members of the LGBTQ+ community with over 12 transgender and nonbinary individuals being killed and over 20 bisexual, gay, lesbians, and queers being killed in 2023. Especially in light of pride month, hate groups have gone out to harass LGBTQ+ members of the community to demonstrate exactly how enrooted the hate is within the community. The bills have also been affecting families themselves, seeing as they have begun moving out of their homes in the South to less conservative areas so they can continue supporting their children. It’s been a devastating blow to teens as seen by an increase in suicides, runaways, and overall depression/bad mental health. Despite how harshly children and families are taking it, more and more bills are being passed, creating a lack of hope among those who live in the United States that the suffering will end.
If you want to look at specific bills being passed in different states, feel free to look at this link! https://www.aclu.org/legislative-attacks-on-lgbtq-rights