US

238 US anti-LGBT+ bills, mostly targeting trans folk, filed in 2022 so far

Lily Wakefield March 20, 2022
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Protest for against bills targeting LGBT+ kids

Minneasotans hold a rally at the capitol to support trans kids in Minnesota, Texas, and around the country. (UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty/ Michael Siluk)

In 2022 so far there have been 238 anti-LGBT+ bills filed in the United States, mostly targeting trans folk, and it’s not even the end of March.

According to analysis of data from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and LGBT+ advocacy group Freedom for All Americans by NBC News, the number of anti-LGBT+ bills filed in the US in 2022 so far averages at more than three per day.

There were 191 anti-LGBT+ bills filed in the US in 2021, which was the worst year on record, but 2022 has overtaken that figure in just two-and-a-half months.

This year, 65 per cent of these bills specifically targeted trans folk.

The number of bills attacking the rights of queer folk has been accelerating rapidly since 2018, when 41 were filed across the country.

But the legislation against LGBT+ people does not seem to be a reflection of public opinion – this year, research has shown that 79 per cent of Americans support discrimination protections for LGBT+ folk and 68 per cent support same-sex marriage, while more Americans than ever before identify as LGBT+.

In reality, LGBT+ rights have become political pawns, as right-wing lawmakers try to garner support from religious conservatives.

Gabriele Magni, assistant professor of political science at Loyola Marymount University, California, told NBC News: “Conservative politicians, conservative religious leaders, religious organizations, and sometimes conservative scholars, often present themselves as defenders of traditional values and traditional institutions in society.

“LGBTQ rights have become a natural target.”

In recent months, Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, which would ban the discussion of LGBT+ topics in schools, has been dominating headlines.

But copycats of the bill are cropping up across the country, as well as continued attacks on trans kids playing sports and accessing gender-affirming medical care.

“It’s important for people to pause and think about what is happening — especially in the health care context — because what we’re seeing is that the state should have the authority to declare a population of people so undesirable that their medical care that they need to survive becomes a crime,” Chase Strangio, the deputy director for transgender justice at the ACLU, said.

“What more terrifying intrusion of the state could there be?”

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