On June 6, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) officially declared a state of emergencyfor LGBTQ+ people in the United States for the first time in its history, which spans more than four decades.
According to a press release, the declaration "follow[s] an unprecedented and dangerous spike in anti-LGBTQ+ legislative assaults sweeping state houses this year."
HRC has released a new report"LGBTQ+ Americans Under Attack: A Report and Reflection on the 2023 State Legislative Session"that details more than 75 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been signed into law this year alone. That figure (out of more than 525 state bills that have been introduced) more than doubles last year's number, which was previously the worst year on record.
HRC President Kelley Robinson stated, "LGBTQ+ Americans are living in a state of emergency. The multiplying threats facing millions in our community are not just perceived they are real, tangible and dangerous. 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.
"As we kick off LGBTQ+ Pride Month, HRC will be working tirelessly to educate and arm the LGBTQ+ community with information and resources to ensure their safetywhether they're planning summer travel through regions that are becoming increasingly hostile to LGBTQ+ people, or whether they already live in a state where legislative assaults and political extremism are continuing to put a target on our backs."
In the report, Robinson mentions anti-LGBTQ+ figures such as Republican Florida Gov. (and presidential candidate) Ron DeSantis, "who has weaponized his position as a lawmaker to target LGBTQ+ families, Black and brown Floridians, immigrants and private businesses." However, she also speaks about people she calls "heroes," such as Democratic non-binary Oklahoma state Rep. Mauree Turner, who faced censure after opening their office as a place of safety for a transgender constituent; and trans Democratic Montana state Rep. Zooey Zephyr, "who spoke out against a bill to ban gender-affirming care and faced an undemocratic expulsion as a result."
Robinson also balances states as well as people: "The good news is that for every Florida, there's a Michigan, which became the 22nd state to sign LGBTQ+ non-discrimination protections into law. And for every Texas, there's a Pennsylvania, where because of our partnership and work and advocacy, they are on the cusp of becoming the 23rd state to put LGBTQ+ non-discrimination protections on the books. And for every Tennessee, there's a Minnesota, where they banned so-called 'conversion therapy' this year."
"LGBTQ+ Americans Under Attack" also includes personal narratives about the impact of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, sharing testimonials from individuals in Missouri, Florida and Texas; and text focusing on the mental-health impact of such legislative measures.
The report is at https://hrc-prod-requests.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/Anti-LGBTQ-Legislation-Impact-Report.pdf.