State lawmakers have introduced a
record number of anti-transgender bills in 2021.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, announced over the weekend
that 82 such bills have been introduced this year. Seventy-nine
anti-transgender bills were introduced last year.
“In a year that has taken a toll on
each and every one of us, it is shocking that anti-equality
extremists in state legislatures across this country have dedicated
an unprecedented amount of time and energy to attacking the LGBTQ
community and particularly LGBTQ youth,” HRC President Alphonso
David said in a statement. “The furious pace of these bills shows
that hateful anti-equality groups across the country and extremist
legislators alike realize that equality is gaining momentum. This is
their shameful attempt to throw a wrench into the progress we have
steadily made in the fight for equality.”
“Today’s milestone serves as a
reminder of the intensity of our opposition and just how hard we must
continue to work to overcome discrimination and exclusion. Progress
in the fight for equality has always come in fits and starts but
nevertheless marches forward. We know we are on the right side of
history,” he said.
The news comes just days after
Mississippi became the first state in the nation to pass
anti-transgender legislation in 2021.
Governor Tate Reeves signs bill banning transgender athletes from
HRC said that the bills were solutions
looking for problems.
“These bills are not addressing any
real problem, and they’re not being requested by constituents,”
the group said. “Rather, this effort is being driven by national
far-right organizations attempting to score political points by
sowing fear and hate.”
“What they don’t understand is
opposing equality is highly unpopular – even among Trump voters –
and states that pass legislation that attacks our community will face
severe economic, legal, and reputational harm. In many cases, these
legislative pushes are being prioritized above COVID-19 response and
relief. This push comes as equality measures gain not only popular
support but legislative momentum on the federal level, with the Biden
Administration championing equality in early Executive Actions and
Congress considering the Equality Act within the first 100 days of
the new Administration,” the organization said, referring to the
LGBT protections bill that cleared the House last month.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, a
Republican, has already said that she will sign an anti-transgender
bill approved by lawmakers.
Governor Kristi Noem says she's “excited” to sign bill banning
transgender women in sports.)