Sex & Gender /

Human Rights Campaign Declares National State of Emergency for LGBTQ People

'There is an imminent threat to the health and safety of millions of LGBTQ+ people and families,' said HRC President Kelley Robinson

The Human Rights Campaign issued a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans due to “an unprecedented and dangerous spike in anti-LGBTQ+ legislative assaults sweeping state houses” in 2023.

The LGBTQ+ issues advocacy group administered its warning on June 6 alongside a new report titled “LGBTQ+ Americans Under Attack.” The group warned that twice as many policies it opposes have become law in 2023 compared to 2022 — “which was previously the worst year on record.”

“The sharp rise in anti-LGBTQ+ measures has spawned a dizzying patchwork of discriminatory state laws that have created increasingly hostile and dangerous environments for LGBTQ+ people,” said the organization in a statement.

“More than 75 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been signed into law this year alone, more than doubling last year’s number, which was previously the worst year on record,” said the HRC. “Our community is in danger, but we won’t stop fighting back — not now, not ever.”

Specifically, the HRC opposes policies adopted by 21 states requiring student-athletes to play on teams that match their biological gender, limitations on the forms of medical intervention permitted to be offered to transgender-identifying minors enacted in 20 states, and regulations regarding gender-based access to school bathrooms and locker rooms established in nine states.

The organization claims 220 of the 525 bills introduced in 41 states “explicitly target transgender people.”

The group encouraged people to download its guidebook, which summarizes the state laws and provides information about LGBTQ+ rights, resources to “support LGBTQ+ travelers as well as those already living in hostile states.”

HRC President Kelley Robinson said:

The multiplying threats facing millions in our community are not just perceived — they are real, tangible and dangerous. In many cases they are resulting in violence against LGBTQ+ people, forcing families to uproot their lives and flee their homes in search of safer states, and triggering a tidal wave of increased homophobia and transphobia that puts the safety of each and every one of us at risk…

There is an imminent threat to the health and safety of millions of LGBTQ+ people and families, who are living every day in uncertainty and fear. Our number one priority will always be ensuring that LGBTQ+ people are safe and have the tools they need to defend and protect themselves against acts of hostility, discrimination and — in the most extreme cases — violence. It’s also incumbent on our allies across the country to stand with us and make it clear that they won’t sit idly by while extremists attack and malign LGBTQ+ people and our families.

The HRC was founded in 1980 and is supported by numerous corporate partners including Target, UPS, Pfizer, The Walt Disney Company, Neiman Marcus, Microsoft, Lyft, Google, and Amazon.

The state of Emergency was not universally embraced. Some Twitter users dragged the organization for overlooking real threats to LGBTQ+ people and for creating fear for potential financial gain.


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