Nationwide, GOP lawmakers have filed nearly two hundred state bills this year that seek to erode protections for transgender and gay youth or to restrict discussion of LGBTQ topics in public schools. The explosion of legislation is in part the culmination of efforts by conservative organizations, which are helping state legislators write and promote the bills. One of the most active – the Alliance Defending Freedom – has a decades-long history of fighting LGBTQ rights, including battles to preserve state laws criminalizing consensual sex between gay adults, court records show. Today, at least 166 measures to restrict LGBTQ rights are still pending in state legislatures across the nation – nearly quadruple the number of similar bills introduced just three years ago, according to data from Freedom for All Americans, an LGBTQ advocacy group. Members of the LGBTQ community say the unprecedented legislative efforts are aimed at dismantling the hard-earned and tenuous civil rights of a vulnerable population and are causing psychological damage to children who are already struggling. “This wave of bills has been staggering,” Florida state Rep. Anna Eskamani, D, said in an interview. “These painful state-level fights are proof positive that discrimination is still a very real threat… Read full this story
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