No anti-LGBT bills passed in 2018… yet
Here’s some good news: despite the feeling of doom and gloom in 2018 under the Trump administration, no anti-LGBT bills have been passed yet for this year, thanks to the efforts of LGBT advocates and civil rights groups.
In an analysis by Washington Post, Amber Philips noted that the US state legislative session has passed for this period without a single anti-LGBT bill being passed into law.
Anti-LGBT bills still down to zero in 2018
Those bills that were passed in the previous years are still around, like the first-ever bathroom bill of North Carolina that was passed in 2016.
Likewise, Texas, Alabama, and South Dakota have bills that were passed last year that allow adoption agencies to refuse to place children with LGBT folk.
But since then, more than 120 anti-LGBT bills introduced in the US in 2018 have not yet passed, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
Amanda McLain-Snipes of the Equality Federation said that from Kansas to New Hampshire and Georgia, all anti-LGBT bills that LGBT advocates fought were defeated, while an anti-bathroom bill in Tennessee didn’t fare better.
Cathryn Oakley, state legislative specialist for the HRC, said: “It appears, for all intents and purposes, that the only anti-transgender bill to receive a committee hearing this year is dead.”
But there are still 30 state legislatures still in session, and two bills in Oklahoma and Kansas are still in play allowing religious adoption agencies to refuse to place children with LGBT parents.
Pro-LGBT movement gets a break
Even while anti-LGBT bills were being defeated, those bills that protect LGBT people were being passed, like Washington and Milwaukee banning conversion therapy for minors.
LGBT advocates note that one reason why anti-gay legislators are afraid to pass laws against the community is because of the defeat of former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory in his reelection bid.
When North Carolina passed the first-ever bathroom bill, it faced a lot of boycotts from business, sports, and entertainment industries. This cost McCrory the election.
“We’ve just seen that states pay a price for being seen as anti-LGBT,” Oakley said.
Another reason being cited is that the Trump administration is doing more than its fair share against the LGBT people, from a transgender ban in the military to fighting over insurance coverage.
A third reason is that LGBT advocates are now facing battles via statewide ballot initiatives. Recently, an Anchorage ballot initiative to roll back protections for transgender people was shot down.
In other words, while we can hope that we’re achieving some victories, we can’t let our guard down.