Arkansas - Lawmakers introduce bill labeling drag venues as “adult-oriented businesses.” Adult-oriented business cannot be located on public property or anywhere where a minor could view the adult-oriented business. This would prevent drag queens from performing in any public space.
Colorado - Gov. Jared Polis inaugurated for a second term. He made history as the first openly gay person to be elected governor in the U.S. in 2018 and was re-elected comfortably in November.
Florida - Lawmakers prepare to make changes to Disney’s special tax district. This follows legislation passed last year following Disney’s criticism of Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law which would dissolve the tax district for Walt Disney World by June of 2023.
Governor DeSantis requests data on gender-affirming care provided by Florida universities. The DeSantis administration sent a request on January 11th to 12 state universities that they disclose the number of students or individuals who received gender-affirming treatment at those universities, including surgical procedures, in the last five years. Equality Florida called the request “incredibly disturbing.”
Iowa - Lawmakers introduce anti-LGBTQ+ education bills. One such bill would force school faculty and staff to out trans students to their parents. Another would ban discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity through third grade.
Ohio - Eight parents sue school district over LGBTQ+ policies. The group of parents in the suit wish to prevent teachers in the Hilliard City School District from discussing LGBTQ+ issues or wearing badges showing support for LGBTQ+ students, and also seek to compel school staff to out students to their parents.
Massachusetts - Maura Healy inaugurated as one of two openly lesbian governors in the country. Governor Healy is the first woman to be elected governor in Massachusetts, and one the first two openly gay women to serve as governor in the country, along with Tina Kotek of Oregon.
Oklahoma - Bill introduced to ban gender-affirming care for trans people under 26. SB129 would ban all “gender transition procedures” for anyone under 26, with an explicit exception for intersex individuals.
Oregon - Tina Kotek inaugurated as one of two openly lesbian governors in the US. Governor Kotek and Governor Healy of Massachusetts made history as the first two openly lesbian women to be elected governor of any state in the US.
Texas - Dozens of anti-LGBTQ+ bills filed in new legislative session. Of the roughly three dozen bills targeting the LGBTQ+ community introduced as of January 9th, several aim to ban or limit discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in schools, several would ban gender-affirming care for trans youth, and others would restrict drag performances.
Utah - Bill introduced to severely limit Utah’s conversion therapy ban. HB228 would allow therapists to engage in so-called conversion therapy as long as the “treatment” was limited to verbal or written communication. Most conversion therapy performed today is talk therapy, therefore HB228 would effectively re-legalize the practice in Utah.
Wisconsin - Legislative committee blocks conversion therapy ban. A state board overseeing licensing for mental health professionals had promulgated a rule banning conversion therapy in 2020. But a committee in the Legislature blocked the ban on January 12th, over the objections of mental health professionals and advocates for the LGBTQ+ community.
Governor Evers appoints first openly gay cabinet official. James Bond, a disabled Marine Corps veteran, will lead Wisconsin’s Department of Veterans Affairs, becoming the first openly gay person to lead a state department in Wisconsin history.