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Anti-LGBTQ legislation gains little traction in state capitals

In the first four months of 2017, more than 55 anti-LGBTQ bills have been defeated in state legislatures. American Unity Fund and our partners continue to track 51 anti-LGBT bills still that are still alive, as well as 43 pro-freedom nondiscrimination bills.

TEXAS

Opponents of LGBT equality–including the sponsor of the anti-LGBT SB6–have tried to use N.C. example to show that there will not be harmful economic consequences in Texas if they pass the equally bad SB6.  In fact, HB2 has already cost North Carolina hundreds of millions of dollars, and SB6 is equally as damaging.

TENNESSEE

The House State Government Subcommittee last week refused to pass HB54/SB127, also known as the License to Discriminate Bill. The move is the latest in string of blistering defeats for anti-LGBT activists.

This year, Tennessee lawmakers refused to pass other anti-LGBT measures, including two unconstitutional measures that would prohibit same sex marriage (their so-called “Natural Marriage Act”), and one that would prohibit transgender students from using the restroom that matches their gender identity. All were defeated or tabled for the year.

While Tennesseans who support LGBTQ freedom have reason to celebrate, they are not out of the woods yet; many of these bills are expected to be considered again next year.  

ARKANSAS

The legislature adjourned in April without passing any of its seven anti-LGBT bills. One pro-LGBTQ nondiscrimination bill also failed.

Earlier this year, legislators in Arkansas introduced several anti-LGBTQ measures, including one that called for a state constitutional amendment to man same-sex marriage in the state and two additional measures that would prohibit transgender people from using the restroom that matches the gender they live as everyday.  Thankfully, the General Assembly adjourned without passing any of these dangerous and discriminatory bills.  

ALABAMA

SB1, an anti-transgender bathroom bill, and HB24, an anti-LGBTQ adoption bill, are technically both still alive, but with the resignation of the governor, there’s little political appetite to push them through the legislature.  The Senate in particular was not interested in passing HB24, which passed the House earlier in the year.

VIRGINIA

In early April, the Virginia House and Senate sustained vetoes of two anti-LGBT RFRA bills, HB2025 and SB1324. Both would have permitted discrimination against LGBT Virginians and same-sex couples by people, religious organizations or even businesses with very loose affiliations to religion, as long as they claim their discrimination was based on sincerely held religious beliefs. Both bills are effectively dead for the year.

 

LEGISLATIVE TRACKER

 

Type Number and list of states with live bills # of Bills Dead bills
RFRA 12: GA, IN, MI, MO, TX, AL, HI, IL, OH, OK, TN, WA 24 13
Anti-Trans Bills 10: MA, MO, TX, AL, IL, KS, MN, NY, SC, WA 19 14
Local Control Bills 4: FL, NC, TX, OK, TN 8 5
Proactive Nondiscrimination 18: AK, AZ, FL, GA, IN, MO, TX, AL, HI, KS, MS, NE, NY, OH, OK, OR, SC, WV 43 16
Other bad bills 38 4
   

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