A record number -nearly 240 anti-LGBTQ bills were filed in 2022. These bills were to limit the rights of LGBTQ Americans this past year. Half of them specifically targeted transgender people. Only 41 bills were filed in 2018, but in 2021, 191 bills were proposed, according to nbc.com.
Mental health of LGBTQ youths are at an all-time low. The Trevor Project, an LGBT Youth Suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization, did a survey last year and found that 42% of nearly 35,000 LGBTQ youths considered suicide within 2021.
In November 2022, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, five people were killed and a dozen injured in an LGBTQ nightclub called “Q.” This is reminiscent of the Pulse Nightclub, Orlando, Florida shooting at which forty-nine LGBTQ patrons were killed on June 12, 2016.
“The Parental Rights in Education Bill,” HB 1557, took effect in Florida July 1, 2022. The sponsor was Governor Ron DeSantis. “Sick of woke ideology,” De Santis’s bill known as “Don’t Say Gay Bill,” reads “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in K-3 grades or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards. This bill gives parents an option to sue a school district if the policy is voted. Librarians have been asked to remove school library books that deal with LGBT subjects.
The Equality Act, H.R.5 has been passed by the House in February 2021 and April 2022 but has yet to be passed in the Senate.This bill prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and genderidentity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system. Specifically, the bill defines and includes sex, sexual orientation among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation.
H.R.5 expands the definition to public accommodations to include places or establishments that provide
- exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings or displays;
- goods, services or programs; and
- transportation services.
The bill allows the Department of Justice to intervene in equal protection actions in federal court on account of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The bill prohibits an individual from being denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity.
For now, the Respect for Marriage Act, signed by President Biden last November codifies protections for same-sex couples and interracial couples. However, it does not guarantee the right to marry.
It specifies that states must recognize same-sex marriages across state lines and that same-sex couples have same federal benefits as any married couple. Passed with a 61-36 vote, this bill repeals the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, prohibiting same-sex marriage. It protects religious institutions right not to perform same-sex marriage. It requires states to recognize marriages from other U.S. states where same-sex marriage is legal.
It works for now, but as David Plazas points out in his article in “Respect for Marriage Act fails short of ensuring protection, USATODAY, if the Supreme Court were to overturn Obergefell (the man who sued for the right to marry) vs. Hodges, states that oppose same-sex marriage could outlaw it as anti-abortion states are doing after this summer’s ruling. You could get a new bill in 2023!
The U.S. is inching its way to equality for the LGBTQ+ population. A recent Pew Research in 2022 shows a 71% approval rate for same-sex marriage as opposed to a similar March 2006 study that yielded only a 51% approval.
When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know
For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.