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Civil Rights Group Issues Grim First for LGBTQ+ Americans

HRC declares state of emergency due to record number of anti-LGBTQ laws
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2023 11:00 AM CDT
Group Declares National Emergency for LGBTQ+
People with the Human Rights Campaign hold up "equality flags" during an event on Capitol Hill on July 26, 2017, in Washington, in support of transgender members of the military.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

The US set a record with 29 anti-LGBTQ+ laws passed across the country last year. But that record has already been crushed six months into 2023, with more than 75 anti-LBGTQ+ bills passed into law as of Monday, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which just declared a national state of emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans for the first time in the group's four-decade history, per CNN. Weeks after issuing a travel advisory for Florida due to that state's targeting of LGBTQ+ people, the nation's largest LGBTQ+ civil rights group says the community is facing "real, tangible, and dangerous" threats that are forcing people to exit to states considered safer for them.

"In many cases [threats] 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," HRC President Kelley Robinson says in a statement, per the Hill. The statement refers to a mother of four in Texas who's relocating her family to Minnesota in response to more than 50 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in the Lone Star State this year.

At least 417 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were introduced across the country in the first quarter, "a new record and twice the number of such bills introduced all of last year," CNN reports, based on data from the American Civil Liberties Union. HRC says more than 525 bills have now been introduced in 41 states. Some 30% of transgender 13- to 17-year-olds now live in states where gender-affirming health care is heavily restricted or banned, while 15% of trans people live in states where they're forbidden from using bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity, HRC says, per the Hill. The group says it plans to release a guidebook outlining anti-LGBTQ+ laws by state and information on health and safety resources for LGBTQ+ Americans. (More LGBTQ stories.)

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