warning from human rights campaign, lgbtq+ americans are being attacked
On Tuesday, the Human Rights Campaign declared a “state of emergency” for LGBTQ+ people in the United States.
The organization also published a guidebook outlining the laws it considers discriminatory in each state, as well as “know your rights” information and resources to assist people in moving to states with stronger LGBTQ+ protections.
The largest organization in the country fighting for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people warned against the current political climate. It claimed that travel warnings are insufficient to assist those who already reside in states where lawmakers have discriminated against LGBTQ+ people.
In an interview, HRC President Kelley Robinson stated, “We need champions right now. She said that President Joe Biden and other advocates for LGBTQ+ rights with the power to make decisions need to be more than just allies.
According to HRC President Kelley Robinson, the declaration is an appeal to “people in power at every level” of government and business to fight for LGBTQ+ rights with the same zeal as they have for abortion rights ever since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer.
“When Dobbs fell, you saw a federal response to deal with the abortion crisis that we’re in,” Robinson claimed. “We need that same sort of response because the health and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community are in even greater danger right now.”
Just a few days into Pride Month, the campaign announced that it is taking action in response to the “unprecedented and dangerous” increase in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that is sweeping state legislatures this year. More than 525 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced, and more than 70 of them have been signed into law so far in 2023, which is more than double the number from last year.
A recent Press analysis revealed that many bills that sought to outlaw or restrict gender-affirming medical care for transgender children and adolescents, who have been the main targets of state legislation this year, originated from the minds of a small number of influential conservative interest groups rather than from grassroots or constituent demand.
In contrast, the HRC guidebook offers details on how to file complaints for civil rights violations and directs readers to sources for funding relocation and locating employment, particularly in the 17 states where Democrats hold a trifecta of leadership positions—in both legislative chambers and the governor’s office.
It’s not uncommon for parents to call Robinson asking how they can relocate to another state because they would rather miss their home than their child, according to Robinson. “This requires a different level of response because the urgency is different.”
The HRC, which consists of a foundation dedicated to research, advocacy, education, national and regional lobbying efforts, and a political action committee that backs and opposes candidates for public office, has been around for 43 years. The emergency declaration is the organization’s first in that time. It occurs at a time when Republican-controlled legislatures across the nation are limiting different facets of transgender existence, including pronoun usage, bathroom access, medical care, and more.
After the GOP-controlled Legislature on Tuesday sent a package to the governor that includes a ban on gender-affirming care for minors, Louisiana is poised to become the latest state to enact new restrictions. Additionally, a bill outlining proper pronoun usage for students and another that would broadly forbid K–12 public school employees from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity in the classroom were both passed by lawmakers with overwhelming support. The legislation is comparable to the Florida law known as “Don’t Say Gay” by critics.
Some trans people and their families are frantically trying to leave their home states as many LGBTQ+ Americans celebrate their identities this month amid a bewildering array of new restrictions.
A recently overturned emergency rule from the Republican attorney general, which would have limited gender-affirming care for minors and some adults, was the final straw for Debi Jackson, the mother of a trans child in Kansas City, Missouri.
According to Jackson, 49, “My child has decided that they’ve had enough of constantly worrying about what the government will do to torment them next.”
Avery, her 16-year-old child, made national headlines in 2017 when they made history by becoming the first trans person to appear on the cover of National Geographic at age 9. Jackson, who has since become a vocal supporter of her child and others in the area, recalled her family’s earlier promise to remain in the state and continue the fight.
Because we are so noticeable, she explained, “We kind of worried about what message we send other people if we pack up and leave, and would it seem like we were leaving them behind.” But moving doesn’t imply that we’re giving up or quitting. It serves as a stark reminder of how serious the situation has become.
This year, a growing number of trans people have unexpectedly lost access to the medical care that many consider to be life-saving. To prevent unintentionally reversing their physical transitions, some are turning to frequently dangerous “do-it-yourself” hormone treatments.
Additionally, as Pride Month celebrations get underway this week, organizers are stepping up security in response to potential protests from extremist groups. Many members of the LGBTQ+ community felt particularly vulnerable after a mass shooting occurred inside a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs last autumn.