At least 13 anti-LGBTQ bills in Texas, 15 in Arkansas, and over 100 across the country have already been introduced to legislatures in 2017. This comes despite the high profile battle over North Carolina's anti-trans "bathroom bill" that lead businesses to threaten to pull operations from cities and states who sign these types of measures into law.
In Texas, the NFL suggested it won’t hold future Super Bowls in the state if anti-LGBTQ legislation passes. Unabated, State Representative Matt Krause told The Texas Observer in response, “I think religious liberties and the protection and preservation of them is of the utmost importance."
By Hari Ziyad*, AFROPUNK Contributor
Many of these bills are aimed at stripping protections from LGBTQ children, families, and the most vulnerable within the community, such as South Dakota's first anti-LGBTQ law of 2017, which takes effect in July and allows adoption and foster agencies that receive state funding to turn away LGBTQ families if the agency cites religious objections.
One of the Texas bills would allow a school guidance counselor to refuse to help a child who is or comes from an LGBTQ family. At least seven state bills are written to prevent local governments from passing non-discrimination laws of their own. Transgender children and adults, who remain the most abused already, are further targeted by the greatest number of bills.
Under Obama, the feds had promised to protect transgender students, but Orange Cheeto has said he will not defend against such legislation. What is becoming more and more clear is that we are currently facing a new monster that will take new methods and strategies to combat.
*Hari Ziyad is a New York based storyteller and writer for AFROPUNK. They are also the editor-in-chief of RaceBaitR, deputy editor of Black Youth Project, and assistant editor of Vinyl Poetry & Prose. You can follow them on Twitter @hariziyad.