According to a new Human Rights Campaign report 27 state legislatures will try to pass anti-LGBT laws this year — Happy New Year, everybody!
Some legislators have wasted no time in getting anti-LGBT bills on the docket, with new bills already introduced in Indiana, Missouri, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Nearly all of those states will float bills that would allow businesses to refuse services to LGBT people (religious refusals). In fact, every single legislature in the south and southwest has these discriminatory ordinances up for discussion, with the exception of Texas and Nevada. That’s only because the legislatures in those states aren’t scheduled to meet at all this year. In Colorado, anti-gay lawmakers are pushing for a referendum so that voters will get the final say as to whether people can legally cite religious grounds as an excuse not do their job.
Legislators in 11 states could be voting on anti-trans bathroom ordinances too with 5 states considering laws preventing cities from enforcing their own non-discrimination ordinances, just like Arkansas did last year. In brighter news, pro-equality legislators in Michigan are hoping voters will pass a non-discrimination ballot measure during the November elections.
As for the rest of the states, there is some good news! States in the northeast and west coast might pass bans on harmful ex-gay conversion therapy, anti-bullying legislation and bills that would make it easier for trans people to change their identity documents.
Also, even though a total of 151 individual anti-LGBT bills were filed last year, most of them failed. Some, however, just got pushed back to this year. Oh well, looks like 2016 is gonna be another busy year on the political battlefield.
(Featured photo: Colorado State Capitol via yosoynuts/Flickr)