Mapping Attacks on LGBTQ Rights in U.S. State Legislatures
In the last few years states have advanced a record number of bills that attack LGBTQ rights, especially transgender youth. The ACLU is tracking these attacks and working with our national network of affiliates to support LGBTQ people everywhere.
While more states every year work to pass laws to protect LGBTQ people, state legislatures are advancing bills that target transgender people, limit local protections, and allow the use of religion to discriminate. The ACLU will not stop speaking out against these cruel attacks nationwide. LGBTQ people have a right to live in safety, to thrive, and to be treated with dignity.
How the ACLU Tracks Anti-LGBTQ Legislation:
Our legal and advocacy team works with ACLU affiliates and local organizations across the country to monitor state legislatures for bills targeting the rights of LGBTQ people. Each bill is reviewed by legal staff at the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project before being categorized on this site. The process by which bills become law or not differ in each state depending on state law and constitutions.
How state lawmakers are targeting LGBTQ rights
These bills attempt to limit the ability to update gender information on IDs and records, such as birth certificates and driver’s licenses. This puts transgender people at risk of losing jobs, facing harassment, and other harms. Trans, intersex, and nonbinary people need IDs that accurately reflect who they are to travel, apply for jobs, and enter public establishments without risk of harassment or harm.
Learn more: Transgender People and Identity Documents
These bills attempt to undermine and weaken nondiscrimination laws by allowing employers, businesses, and even hospitals to turn away LGBTQ people or refuse them equal treatment.
Learn more: Using Religion to Discriminate
Despite the safeguards of the First Amendment’s right to free expression, politicians are fighting to restrict how and when LGBTQ people can be themselves, limiting access to books about them and trying to ban or censor performances like drag shows.
Learn more: The Dangers of Drag Censorship w/ Peppermint
These bills target access to medically-necessary health care, like Medicaid, for transgender people. Many of these bills ban affirming care for trans youth, and can create criminal penalties for providing this care. These bills exempt identical treatments offered to cisgender youth or are forced onto intersex youth. Other bills block funding to medical centers that offer gender-affirming care, or block insurance coverage of health care for transgender people.
Learn more: Gender-Affirming Care Gave My Daughter a Future. Lawmakers Want to Take It Away.
Public accommodations bills seek to prohibit transgender people from using facilities like public bathrooms and locker rooms. Everyone should have access to these spaces, no matter their gender identity or gender expression. If you can’t use the restroom, you can’t fully participate in work, school, and public life.
Learn more: Anti-Trans Bathroom Bills Have Nothing to Do With Privacy
State lawmakers are trying to prevent trans students from participating in school activities like sports, force teachers to out students, and censor any in-school discussions of LGBTQ people and issues. Instead of limiting resources, education, and opportunities, our schools should protect and support all students to learn and thrive.
Learn more: Know Your Rights: LGBTQ Students
These bills don’t quite fit in any of the other categories, but nonetheless target the rights of LGBTQ people. Examples include bans on marriage and bills preempting local nondiscrimination protections.
Learn more: LGBTQ Rights
Voices For Trans Justice
Trans people, our families, and our allies are fighting back against bills restricting their rights and their lives.
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The end goal of anti-trans legislation is denying transgender people the words to describe our experience, the means to express it safely, and the community and support we all deserve.
— Gillian Branstetter, Bio firstname.lastname@example.org
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The ACLU works to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people can live openly without discrimination and enjoy equal rights, personal autonomy, and freedom of expression and association.