Baton Rouge, Louisiana Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, condemns the Louisiana House for passing HB 81, which targets LGBTQ+ youth and educators across the state by preventing them from having and providing safe, inclusive classrooms. HB 81 allows schools to forcibly out and intentionally misgender transgender and non-binary students.
In response, HRC's Legislative Counsel Courtnay Avant released the following statement:
"School policy should focus on education, not discrimination. Honoring a student's chosen name and pronouns is essential to affirming their identity and is one of the most important things that can be done to improve their health and well-being. All children deserve safe and affirming spaces in school, and teachers should feel empowered to provide them. The Human Rights Campaign strongly condemns the Louisiana Houses's actions today and urges the Senate to do the right thing and oppose this discriminatory bill."
Tomorrow, the Louisiana House will vote on another anti-LGBTQ+ education bill, HB 466. The "Don't Say LGBTQ+" bill blocks teachers from talking about LGBTQ+ issues or people, further stigmatizing LGBTQ+ people and isolating LGBTQ+ kids. The bill silences educators by banning the instruction and discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity during any extracurricular academic, athletic, or social activities in grades K-12. It also bans school employees and other presenters from discussing their own sexual orientation or gender identity.
So far in 2023, HRC is opposing more than 520 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. More than 220 of those bills would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date.
This year, HRC is tracking:
More than 125 bills that would prevent transgender youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; this year, 14 have already become law in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Dakota, Montana, and Oklahoma
More than 30 bathroom ban bills filed,
More than 100 curriculum censorship bills and 45 anti-drag performance bills.
In a coordinated push led by national anti-LGBTQ+ groups, which deployed vintage discriminatory tropes, politicians in statehouses across the country introduced 315 discriminatory anti-LGBTQ+ bills in 2022 and 29 passed into law. Despite this, fewer than 10% of these efforts succeeded. The majority of the discriminatory bills 149 bills targeted the transgender and non-binary community, with the majority targeting children receiving the brunt of discriminatory legislation. By the end of the 2022 legislative session, a record 17 bills attacking transgender and non-binary children passed into law.
More than 300 major U.S. corporations have stood up and spoken out to oppose anti-LGBTQ+ legislation being proposed in states across the country. Major employers in tech, manufacturing, hospitality, health care, retail, and other sectors are joining with a unified voice to say discrimination is bad for business and to call on lawmakers to abandon these efforts. Four of the largest U.S. food companies also condemned "dangerous, discriminatory legislation that serves as an attack on LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly transgender and nonbinary people," and the Walton Family Foundation issued a statement expressing "alarm" at the trend of anti-transgender legislation that recently became law in Arkansas.
According to the latest data this year from PRRI, support for LGBTQ+ rights is on the rise in Louisiana and nationwide: 80% of Louisiana residents support nondiscrimination protections, and 61% of Louisiana residents oppose refusal of service on religious grounds. About eight in ten Americans (80%) favor laws that would protect LGBTQ+ people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing. This reflects a dramatic increase in the proportion of Americans who support nondiscrimination protections since 2015, when it was 71%.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.