South Carolinians:

H 4624 would ban medical care for trans youth under 18 and block Medicaid funding for transgender youth under 26. Contact your legislator TODAY and tell them to VOTE NO on this harmful bill!

Court Matters

State Attorneys General file amicus brief urging Supreme Court to hear case challenging a Montgomery County, Maryland school district’s gender policy guidelines. The guidelines allow students to use names, pronouns, and restrooms or facilities consistent with their gender identity while prohibiting parental notification without the student’s consent. The amicus brief, filed on January 4th, is signed by 17 Attorneys General, and opposes the decision by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals which ruled that the parents challenging the policy lack standing to sue. PFLAG supports Montgomery County School Board’s policy and is involved with an amicus brief filed in 2023 on this case.

President Biden announces first judicial nominees of 2024. The six nominees, announced on January 10th, include Amir Ali, a civil rights lawyer tapped to become the first Muslim American federal judge to serve on the D.C District Court, as well as Melissa DuBose, a Black state court judge in Rhode Island who would become the first person of color and openly LGBTQ+ individual to serve as a life-tenured federal judge in the state. 

Federal Matters

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rescinds previous Administration’s medical conscience rule. The 2019 policy would have allowed healthcare providers to deny care based on religious objections. HHS released a new rule on January 9th which reverses a provision of the 2019 policy which stripped federal funding from healthcare facilities that required providers to administer care over which they had religious-based objections - namely, abortions, contraception, and gender-affirming treatments.

House votes down rules package. Thirteen Republicans joined all Democrats in rejecting the rules package on January 10th, ensuring it would fail. The failure of the rules vote is seen as a mechanism through which members of the conservative Freedom Caucus expressing their disapproval of the government spending deal Speaker Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Schumer announced on January 7th.

State Matters

Self-care note: While some of the following stories celebrate and affirm LGBTQ+ people, many cover legislation targeting the LGBTQ+ community, particularly trans and nonbinary youth. Please be kind to yourself and use your discretion while reading this section. 

Advisory: State news is representative but not exhaustive due to space constraints; feel free to forward news about your state to to consider for inclusion.

District of Columbia - LGBTQ+ Community invited to join MLK Day parade. Local LGBTQ+ activists and organizations have participated in the D.C. King Day parade in past years. 

Indiana - Lawmakers introduce bill removing “gender” from the state code. “Gender” would be replaced with a very narrow definition of “biological sex,” effectively removing legal recognition of trans, non-binary, and intersex Indianans in state law.

Louisiana - Trans minors and their families sue to block state ban on their medical care. The suit was filed on January 9th in Louisiana District Court, with plaintiffs represented by Lambda Legal, the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School, and the Louisiana law firm Schonekas, Evans, McGoey & McEachin. 

Maryland - Trans Health Equity Act takes effect. As of January 1st, the State’s Medicaid program is required to cover medical care for transgender Marylanders. 

Ohio - State House overrides Governor’s veto of HB68. The Senate will hold a veto override vote on January 24th. The House voted on Jan. 10, (65-28), to override Gov. DeWine’s veto of a law to ban trans youth from accessing medical care and from playing school sports. Tell your state Senators to protect trans kids and vote NO on HB68!

Governor DeWine proposes regulations restricting access to medical care for trans Ohioans. The rules, proposed by the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, apply to care being provided to trans Ohioans of all ages, and advocates warn they would be extremely difficult to comply with for most providers. Please submit a public comment to these agencies TODAY; tell them to oppose restrictive healthcare regulations in Ohio!

Oklahoma - Trans teen fights to update his gender identity on school documents. The teen and his family filed suit against the State Board of Education in December 2023 after the Board created an emergency rule requiring school districts to get state approval before changing gender markers on students’ private files. This prevented the student from changing his gender to male in spite of a court order to update his gender on all official records. 

South Carolina - Bill to ban medical care for trans youth advances. The House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee voted to advance H 4624, which bans medical care for trans youth under 18 and blocks Medicaid funding for such care for youth under 26, on January 10th, within the first two days of the 2024 legislative session. Contact your legislator TODAY and tell them to VOTE NO on this harmful bill!

Virginia - Danica Roem sworn in as state’s first openly trans state senator. Ms. Roem previously served as the first openly trans person elected to the House of Delegates.

Global Matters

France - Gabriel Attal appointed first openly gay Prime Minister. President Macron appointed Mr. Attal Prime Minister on January 9th after the previous Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, resigned. At 34, Mr. Attal is also the youngest Prime Minister in French history. 

Mexico - President Andrés Manuel Lopéz Obrador apologizes after calling trans lawmaker a “man dressed as a woman.” Salma Luévano is one of the first openly trans people in Mexican history to become a federal legislator. Following a meeting with Luévano the weekend of January 6th, President Obrador misgendered her and called her a “man dressed as a woman.” Obrador apologized to Luévano on January 8th.

Media Matters


New York Knicks honor PFLAG NYC Executive Director at Pride Night. Melissa D’Andrea Sullivan received the Knicks’ Sweetwater Clifton City Spirit Award and was honored on-court during Pride Night on January 9th. 

Miss Gay America pageant to return to Little Rock, Arkansas. The annual drag pageant will take place at the Robinson Center from Jan. 16th through 19th. The first Miss Gay America pageant was also held in Little Rock in 1972. 

Charlize Theron defends drag performers on opening episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 16. The Academy Award-winning actress told the Season 16 contestants that “Given the climate in our country right now, there’s a lot of energy being put toward your community not existing. The beauty of what your community brings and the truth of who you are and represent will come out. Don’t give up.” 

Rececca Tallon De Havilland becomes first openly trans person to host their own TV series in Ireland. The LGBTQ+ and HIV activist hosts “Second Chances,” a show about mental wellbeing, which premiered on January 7th. 

Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) announces its chapters must accept trans women. Pamela Rouse Wright,  President General of the DAR, announced that excluding trans women would amount to discrimination in a newsletter following the DAR’s annual conference last summer.


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