Number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills filed by US lawmakers in 2023 already higher than entirety of 2022

We are only halfway into February but more than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in the United States.

And many of these bills target the trans community.

The figure was highlighted on social media by legislative researcher and queer activist Allison Chapman.

A screengrab she posted on Twitter on 9 February revealed that 301 anti-LGBT bills had been filed.

By the afternoon of 13 February, that number had risen to 320, according to the publically-available LGBTQ+ Legislative Tracking spreadsheet Chapman helps compile.

In comparison, only 107 pro-LGBTQ+ bills have been filed.

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According to the Human Rights Campaign, there were a total 315 anti-LGBTQ+ bills filed in the entirity of 2022.

The most common things targeted are the banning of gender-affirming care (96 bills) and Don’t Say Gay or forced outing bills (51).

Chapman said: “We are in truly unprecedented times.”

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The rate at which the bills are being filed has picked up speed, given it was round about this time last month when PinkNews reported that more than 100 anti-LGBTQ+ had been filed this year.

GLAAD’s chief executive, Sarah Kate Ellis, said: “Regardless of whether the bills advance or not, they will have a detrimental effect, particularly on LGBTQ youth.

”We need every lawmaker and voter to speak up in support of LGBTQ people and in support of ensuring protections against discrimination, so we can all feel safe and free.”

It is important to note that just because a bill is filed does not mean it will necessarily become law. The Human Rights Campaign’s report about the 315 bills filed in 2022 shows only 29 actually passed into law.

At the time of writing, Chapman’s tracker showed the most anti-LGBTQ+ bills had been filed in the state of Oklahoma, followed by Missouri and Texas.

In a statement published by GLAAD, Equality Texas chief executive Ricardo Martinez said bills being proposed in the state “would result in tangible harm to real families and will do nothing to further Texas as a competitive state for business and economic advancement”.

He went on: “LGBTQ+ Texans deserve to have peace, safety and leaders who will prioritise improving the lives of Texans.”

On 12 February, president Joe Biden tweeted, urging for the Equality Act to be passed “to ensure LGBTQI+ Americans – especially transgender young people – can live with safety and dignity”.

He made the same call a few days earlier during his annual State of the Union address.

If it become law, the act would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.

It was passed by the House of Representatives in February 2021 then referred to the Senate’s judiciary committee.

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