The American Civil Liberties Union is tracking a record-breaking 469 (and counting) bills targeting the nation’s LGBTQ community in 2023 alone. The number of bills introduced this year surpasses the combined total of all bills introduced in the past four years.
A tracker is available at ACLU.org, which shows anti-LGBTQ legislation by state and issue. Links in the tracker direct the viewer to the bill text and note its status.
Nine of the bills are from the state of Utah, which were passed or defeated in the Utah State Legislative Session earlier this year. Texas leads the country with 52 bills introduced, followed by Oklahoma at 35, Tennessee at 26, and 25 in Mississippi. Only five states and Puerto Rico have not introduced anti-LGBTQ legislation so far this year.
Over 200 bills are education-oriented, with attempts by state lawmakers 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.
Over 120 bills target healthcare issues. 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.
Thirty-nine 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.
Despite the safeguards of the First Amendment’s right to free expression, 41 bills would 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.
Seventy other bills range in topic from restricting same-sex marriage to preempting cities and counties from enacting nondiscrimination policies.
Nearly 40 bills have already been passed this year, and 87 were defeated.