A wave of GOP bills targeting the LGBT
community has resulted in the approval of ten bills across the
Republican governors in nine states
will soon decide whether to sign or veto the bills.
In four states, Alabama, Kansas, North
Dakota, and West Virginia, lawmakers have approved bills that would
bar transgender individuals from competing on sports teams that align
with their gender identity. Similar bills were approved in three
states earlier this year, including Tennessee, Arkansas, and
Mississippi. In South Dakota, the governor signed an executive order.
And a law in Idaho is currently on hold.
majority of Republicans oppose anti-transgender bills, poll finds.)
In Tennessee, Arizona, and Arkansas,
lawmakers have approved anti-LGBT education bills. The bills seek to
restrict discussions surrounding sexual orientation and gender
identity by requiring state schools to get parents' permission.
“This bill would require parental
approval of curriculum for historical events like the Stonewall
Rebellion,” Michael Soto, executive director of Equality Arizona,
an LGBT rights advocate, said of Arizona's Senate Bill 1456.
North Dakota lawmakers have also
approved House Bill 1503, which would allow college student groups to
discriminate against LGBT students under the guise of free speech.
Finally, Montana lawmakers have approved two anti-LGBT bills: Senate
Bill 280, which would require that transgender individuals have
gender-affirming surgery before they can change their gender on their
birth certificates, and Senate Bill 215, a religious refusal bill
that opponents say could be used to discriminate against members of
the LGBT community.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, is calling on the governors to
veto the bills.
“State legislators across the country
were elected to represent all of us, not just some of us and yet they
continue to send hateful and discriminatory anti-LGBTQ bills to the
desks of governors to sign into law, threatening the well-being,
health, and fundamental rights of thousands of LGBTQ Americans in
states from coast to coast,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a
statement. “From anti-transgender sports bans to erasing LGBTQ
people from school curriculum, these bills are driven by fear and
would have a significant negative impact on the lives of so many
LGBTQ people. The governors of these states are responsible for
protecting their citizens, and they must refuse to sign these
baseless and unconscionable cruel bills into law. Otherwise, they
should and will be held accountable for the consequences.”