Enthused by a series of major legislative victories, Republican lawmakers in ‘red states’ — Democrat-ruled states are referred to as ‘blue states — have begun renewed efforts to target LGBTQ Americans, claims HuffPost. According to the statistics of the American Civil Liberties Union and Freedom for All Americans, many Republican states are considering more than 200 anti-LGBTQ bills this year, a historic attack on queer Americans before the midterm elections.
The plethora of bills follows a remarkable number of successful tabling for conservative groups that have long worked to roll back LGBTQ rights. In March, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (Republican) signed a bill known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill into law, prohibiting instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity in most elementary school classrooms.
Many states have jumped on the Republican-led series of anti-fluid gender legislation meant to keep the trans population out of sports teams or prevent doctors from providing health care to trans minors.
Critics have accused lawmakers of feeding into conservative dog whistles and causing undue harm to already vulnerable youth.
Alabama now voting to make standard of care medicine a felony for trans adolescents. Unthinkable and yet here we are — 3 states now having banned care. Two blocked in court. We will see Alabama in court soon.— Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio), 7 April
The bills have disturbed the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has called Arkansas’ effort to limit health care to trans youth a “dangerous” attempt to politicize medicine that put “politicians rather than paediatricians in charge.” Doctors in Florida demonstrated against the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, saying the law would hurt kids’ mental health and further stigmatize LGBTQ youth.
That has not stopped many Republican-led legislatures from unveiling similar bills. Weeks after DeSantis signed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Alabama lawmakers approved sweeping legislation that would do the same thing as well as a bill that would outlaw gender-affirming medications for trans kids. Doctors who prescribe puberty blockers or hormones in the state would face up to 10 years in prison.
Chase Strangio, the deputy director for Trans Justice at the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project, said the Alabama measure was the “most deadly, sweeping and hostile law” targeting trans people in the nation.
Republican lawmakers in Ohio and Louisiana also unveiled their own “Don’t Say Gay” bills.
In response, civil rights groups have filed lawsuits against such legislation and won several short-term term injunctions while cases work through the courts. But queer kids say that even if the laws are only in effect for a short period of time, they are already causing lasting damage.