This year, state lawmakers are once again waging an onslaught of legislative attacks against LGBTQI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex) communities. These bills take various forms — from providing a license to discriminate against LGBTQI+ people, to denying transgender youth access to gender-affirming health care or the ability to participate in school sports, to eliminating LGBTQI+ people from education curricula, and more. Despite these attacks, a recent Gallup poll showed that a record 7.1 percent of U.S. adults currently identify as LGBTQ, with this uptick largely driven by Gen Z. To ensure this growing population is protected by comprehensive nondiscrimination protections, the Senate must follow through on what the House did one year ago and pass the Equality Act.
According to the Equality Federation, last year, over 400 anti-LGBTQI+ bills were introduced in states across the country, with many specifically targeting transgender youth. Since the beginning of 2022, the American Civil Liberties Union estimates that over 140 of these bills are already active in 32 states. Earlier this month, for example, South Dakota signed into law a bill banning transgender students from participating in school sports, marking the first anti-LGBTQI+ bill signed into law in 2022. A bill that would criminalize providing gender-affirming medical care to transgender youth is advancing in Alabama.
The above excerpt was originally published in The Hill.
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