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Here Are 5 Anti-LGBTQ+ Bills To Keep An Eye On In 2024 — & How To Help

From an outside perspective, it might seem like the United States has come a long way in passing progressive legislation for those in the LGBTQ+ community. But while the country has made strides, such as legalizing same-sex marriage in 2015, things are still far from perfect — in fact, in several states, being LGBTQ+ can still be dangerous. Red and blue states alike are introducing bills that severely restrict rights of LGBTQ+ people, and unfortunately for many, the number of these bills has been increasing in recent years.

During the 2024 legislative session alone, a whopping 522 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in the United States, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). This trumps the previous record of 510 bills introduced in 2023. While this does not mean that all 522 bills will be passed — over 300 have already been defeated — it shows the very real risk of LGBTQ+ individuals having their rights dismantled. 

Here are five bills that are currently advancing in their state’s Congress and have the possibility of becoming laws — may they serve as examples of the dangerous rhetoric being spread across the U.S. and inspire those who want to protect the LGBTQ+ community to take action.

House Bill 1650: Missouri

One of the most well-known right-wing talking points when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community is the presence of drag queens. Bills like H.B. 1650 in Missouri seek to enhance restrictions on, or even outright ban, drag performers in public spaces. According to GLAAD, if this bill is passed, drag performers could face felony charges for performing in public spaces. 

Bills like this are often born from the misconception that drag performances are inherently sexual. While some drag shows, targeted for adults, can incorporate more risqué elements, there are also plenty of family-friendly drag shows that encourage young watchers to be confident in who they are — and if that means playing dress-up, then slay!

Senate Bill 1166: Arizona

Some of the most dangerous bills for young members of the LGBTQ+ community are bills like S.B. 1166 in Arizona, a bill that requires teachers to notify parents if their child begins using pronouns that do not match their biological sex at school. According to the Washington Examiner, this bill would give school staff five days to notify a child’s parents if they begin using different pronouns or a different name. This is not only a privacy violation, but it can also endanger students who would be in an unsafe environment if their parents or guardians found out about their preferred names and pronouns. Some transgender and other LGBTQ+ students only feel safe opening up about their identity at school, and this bill would take away that security.

House Bill 1205: New Hampshire

Another popular piece of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric has been the perceived inequalities from allowing transgender children to compete in sporting competitions. H.B. 1205 in New Hampshire seeks to require schools to designate students to only participate in sports competitions for the sex that is listed on their birth certificate, meaning that schools would not accept if a student socially or biologically transitions. Furthermore, according to them, this bill would give students the option to pursue legal action against their school if they are “forced to compete against a trans athlete.”

Senate Bill 315: Delaware

Healthcare for transgender youth has been a hotly contested issue for many years, and some states are trying to pass bills like S.B. 315 in Delaware, which would restrict healthcare for these children and teens. The bill would prohibit the use of public funds and insurance coverage for gender-affirming care. It would also prohibit gender-affirming care for children “when there is a significant probability that children will come to identify with their biological gender.” While detransitioning (stopping or reversing gender transition) is a real phenomenon, physicians have reported that it is uncommon. Many argues it’s unfair to limit healthcare to children on the basis that they might someday change their mind — especially when gender-affirming care can be the thing that saves a young person from taking their own life.

House Bill 3120: Oklahoma

If passed, H.B. 3120 in Oklahoma would allow parents to exempt their children from receiving sex education in school when it doesn’t align with their family beliefs. This bill would also prohibit school staff from using a student’s preferred pronouns if it doesn’t align with their assigned gender at birth. In fact, school employees wouldn’t even be able to ask a student about their pronouns. Restricting sex education on the basis of religious beliefs is dangerous; it has been proven that comprehensive sex education leads to a reduced risk of sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancy. Not only that, allowing parents to withhold this education on the basis of their own religious or moral beliefs means many children and teens — LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ alike — won’t receive information they need to know about their changing bodies, safe sex, and sexual abuse and assault.

How To Help

All of this can be disheartening, frustrating, and scary for many. It’s clear that a significant amount of people in the U.S. are in favor of cutting down LGBTQ+ rights, but there is also a huge amount of people who want to help out and make a difference. If you’re one of them, here are a few actions you can take to fight anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

Donate to LGBTQ+ organizations.

Organizations like the Trevor Project and the ACLU are using donations to help the LGBTQ+ community in a variety of ways. Also, be sure to look for local charities or organizations that you can donate to. If you can’t donate financially, many groups appreciate you volunteering your time.

Contact your representatives.

Getting your representatives’ attention when it comes to issues like these can have impactful results. You can reach out to your county’s House representative, your state’s senators, or your local representatives to let them know that you are passionate about this issue and want to see positive change being made.

Reach out to your LGBTQ+ friends and family members.

It’s a scary time to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community, so if you have friends or family members who are a part of it, reaching out can be reassuring. Simply being in their corner and showing support can make a difference. If you identify as LGBTQ+ and are concerned about the state of the country, make sure you are doing small things to take care of yourself, as well. It isn’t easy, but it’s important to take care of yourself and the people around you so that real change can be made.
It’s also important to remember that even though there have been many challenges to the rights of LGBTQ+ people in the U.S., there are also many pro-LGBTQ+ efforts being made to ensure the rights of every American, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Don’t lose hope.

Jordyn Stapleton has been a National Lifestyle Writer for Her Campus since February 2023. She covers a variety of topics in her articles, but is most passionate about writing about mental health and social justice issues. Jordyn graduated from CU Boulder in December 2022 with Bachelor’s degrees in music and psychology with a minor in gender studies and a certificate in public health. Jordyn was involved in Her Campus during college, serving as an Editorial Assistant and later Editor-in-Chief for the CU Boulder chapter. She has also worked as a freelance stringer for the Associated Press. Jordyn is currently taking a gap year and working at a local business in Boulder, with hopes of attending graduate school in fall 2024. Jordyn enjoys reading, bullet journalling, and listening to (preferably Taylor Swift) music in her free time. If she isn’t brainstorming her next article, you can usually find her exploring coffee shops or hiking trails around Boulder with her friends.