A leading civil rights group has declared a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans as the number of policies that restrict rights and access to care continue to grow.

On June 6, the Human Rights Campaign issued an emergency declaration in response to over 75 discriminatory LGBTQ+ laws that were signed into law in U.S. states this year — twice the number enacted in 2022. The laws create a hostile and dangerous social environment for the LGBTQ+ community, according to the campaign.Main with rainbow colors on cheek

“The multiplying threats facing millions in our community are not just perceived — they are real, tangible and dangerous,” said Kelley Robinson, president of the campaign, in the news release.

The landslide of bills are especially aimed at controlling transgender and non-binary people, the Human Rights Campaign said in its new report, “LGBTQ+ Americans under Attack.” During this year’s legislative session, about half of the 525 anti-LGBTQ+ bills before state policymakers targeted people who are transgender.

Tens of thousands of people are being impacted by the laws, restricting access to gender-affirming medical care and more, the report said. In Florida and North Carolina, transgender people are not only banned from using K-12 school bathrooms, but both youth and adults are also banned from some public bathrooms and facilities. Nearly 11% of transgender youth live in states where policies censor school discussions on LGBTQ+ identity and history.

The Human Rights Campaign also issued a guidebook to help LGBTQ+ people navigate the difficult social landscape, offering information on workplace rights and LGBTQ+ laws per state. Among the states that rank high on positive policies — such as bans on conversion therapy and non-discrimination laws — and low on harmful measures are California, Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, Maryland and New York. On the flip side, states with a high number of negative policies and low protections include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Montana and Tennessee. The hostile environment is causing some Americans to relocate their families to other states.

“Being forced to leave our family and friends, with Texas roots over a hundred years, is going to be the hardest thing we’ll ever do,” Wendy, a mother who is moving her family from the state, said in a news release “Our close-knit family, especially my mom, is devastated. Going from seeing each other every week to every other month is going to be emotionally challenging.”

The guidebook notes that the American public largely stands with the LGBTQ+ community. Polling shows a majority of voting Americans feel there is too much anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in states. The Human Rights Campaign called on supporters to join them in their fight against the harmful policies.

“Our No. 1 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,” Robinson said. “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.”

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