The Human Rights Campaign, one of the leading advocacy groups in the US, has declared a “state of emergency” for LGBTQ+ people in the country.
As of 31 May, the organisation said it was working on more than 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills across more than 40 states.
The total number passed this year stood at 76 as of 7 June, a number higher than any year on record.
“We have officially declared a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people in the United States for the first time following an unprecedented and dangerous spike in anti-LGBTQ+ legislative assaults sweeping state houses this year,” the Human Rights Campaign announced on 6 June.
“More than 75 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been signed into law this year alone, more than doubling last year’s number, which was previously the worst year on record.”
The impact of such legislation is already being felt across the US, with approximately 32.9 per cent of trans youth living in states where anti-trans sports bans have been introduced.
With many bills targeting gender-affirming care, which is life-saving for many trans people of all ages, 30.9 per cent of trans youth aged 13-17 are now unable to access it.
“These states are banning educators from talking about LGBTQ+ issues and teaching Black history”
In some states, care has also been banned for adults aged 18+ as well, further increasing the number of trans and non-binary people who have seen their access to healthcare blocked in this legislative session.
In addition to this, 14.8 per cent of trans people aged 13 and over live in a state where they are unable to use facilities, such as bathrooms and locker rooms, that align with their gender identity.
‘Don’t Say Gay’ bills have also swept through the US ever since Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s infamous legislation into law last year, with more than 241,000 LGBTQ+ young people living in states where a version of it has passed.
“Just look at what’s playing out in Texas and Tennessee and Florida,” Kelley Robinson, the President of the Human Rights Campaign, wrote. “These states are banning educators from talking about LGBTQ+ issues and teaching Black history, and are banning gender-affirming care and abortion care. These same states do nothing to ensure the freedom of children to be safe from gun violence, and do nothing to protect the freedom of democracy when Black and trans voices are silenced in state legislatures.”