More than two dozen laws targeting LGBT anti-discrimination protections and transgender bathroom rights have been filed in the past few months, with some making it onto the books in North Carolina and Mississippi.
But why is there such a backlash all of a sudden? It seems very conveniently timed, with a wave of legislation ahead of November’s presidential election, almost as if someone is coordinating the effort.
CBS looked into the mysterious forces pushing the new wave of bills across the US… and it turns out they’re connected to some familiar faces.
Hint: She lives in Kentucky, has been married four times, and ain’t afraid of no gays.
The network’s investigators found the fingerprints of the Liberty Counsel – the hardline evangelical law firm that represented embattled clerk Kim Davis through her ‘won’t marry gays’ days – on many of the bills.
It found that the group’s leader Mat Staver, who had appeared countless times with Davis, had helped Republican lawmakers draft legislation for conservative lawmakers in at least 20 states.
Approached by CBS, he admitted: “There’s certainly a thread of information that is similar and the same.
“They all have the same intent and that is to protect religious freedom.”
Mr Staver conceded helping lawmakers push the laws, insisting: “It is only about being free to pursue your faith. We have no interest in discriminating against anyone.”
But he insisted the gays and liberals were all to blame, continuing: “The Supreme Court in the 5-4 opinion on marriage in 2015 lit the house on fire.
“All we’re trying to do is control the fire at this point in time.”
Though there’s no suggestion of any involvement on the part of Mrs Davis… we’ve definitely missed writing about her.