Anti-LGBTQ+ laws put U.S. in a state of emergency, Human Rights Campaign says

Drag artist Vidalia Anne Gentry speaks at news conference held by the Human Rights Campaign, Feb. 14, 2023 in Nashville.

FILE – Drag artist Vidalia Anne Gentry speaks during a news conference held by the Human Rights Campaign to draw attention to anti-drag bills in the Tennessee legislature, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023 in Nashville, Tenn. A federal judge says Tennessees first-in-the-nation law designed to place strict limits on drag shows is unconstitutional. In a 70-page ruling handed down late Friday night, June 2, 2023, U.S. District Judge Thomas Parker wrote that the law was both unconstitutionally vague and substantially overbroad and encouraged discriminatory enforcement. (John Amis/AP Images for Human Rights Campaign via AP, File)
(John Amis/AP)

Anti-LGBTQ+ laws put U.S. in a state of emergency, Human Rights Campaign says

Alexandra E. Petri

June 6, 2023

For the first time in its history, the largest LGBTQ+ rights organization in the U.S. has declared a state of emergency for the country’s LGBTQ+ people.

Statehouses across the U.S. have increasingly introduced bills and passed laws targeting the LGBTQ+ community, creating an imminent threat to health and safety, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which was founded in 1980.

At least 525 bills that the HRC characterized as anti-LGBTQ have been introduced across 41 state legislatures during this legislative session, and 76 have been signed into law more than double the record reached last year, according to the organization. More than 220 of the introduced bills targeted the transgender community, the group found.

Republican-controlled state governments

such as including

those in Texas, Florida and Tennessee are at the forefront of the movement against LGBTQ+ rights, the HRC said.

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The multiplying threats facing millions in our community are not just perceived they are real, tangible and dangerous, said Kelley Robinson, the HRC president. In many cases they are resulting in violence against LGBTQ+ people, forcing families to uproot their lives and flee their homes in search of safer states, and triggering a tidal wave of increased homophobia and transphobia that puts the safety of each and every one of us at risk.

Alongside the national warning, which coincides with Pride Month, the HRC released a digital guidebook of health and safety resources, a summary of state-by-state laws, and know your rights information for LGBTQ+ travelers and residents in hostile states.

Last month, the HRC joined other civil rights organizations


in issuing a travel advisory for Florida, warning that recent legislation and policies such as the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, which bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in all grades, may pose risks to marginalized groups.