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 firstname.lastname@example.org to consider for inclusion.
Florida - State to no longer allow gender marker changes on driver’s licenses. Robert Kynoch, deputy executive director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, wrote in a memo to the department’s executive director on January 26th that the department would rescind a provision on “gender requirements” in the Driver License Operations Manual that allowed Floridians to change the gender marker on their licenses. State Representative Anna Askamani described the policy changes as “another gross example of how every state agency has been weaponized to attack trans people.”
Iowa - Bill to remove anti-discrimination protections for gender identity from state law fails. The attempt to strip trans and non-binary Iowans of their civil rights protections failed to clear a judiciary subcommittee, where it failed on a 3-0 vote on January 31st.
Ohio - More than 100 families plan to leave state following passage of HB68. HB68 goes into effect in April and will ban medically-necessary care for trans and non-binary youth as well as banning trans athletes from women and girls’ sports teams. According to TransOhio’s secretary, Dara Adkison, many families are trying to move out of the state.
Pennsylvania - State Supreme Court ruling allows revisit of abortion coverage in Medicaid. On January 29th, the Court ruled in a 219-page opinion that a lower court must hear a challenge to the constitutionality of a long-standing state law limiting abortion care in Medicaid.
Tennessee - Anti-abortion protesters convicted of federal crimes for blocking entrance to Mt. Juliet clinic. Six protesters have been convicted of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act as well as conspiracy charges stemming from a March 2021 protest which saw demonstrators blockade the Carafem Health Center Clinic.
Openly trans person speaks on statehouse floor for the first time. Church of Christ chaplain Dahron Johnson gave the opening prayer to the Tennessee House of Representatives on January 29th after being invited by Rep. Aftyn Behn (D-Nashville). According to the Tennessee Equality Project, Johnson is the first openly trans person to speak on the statehouse floor.
Texas - Supreme Court hears legal challenge to healthcare ban. On January 30th, the Texas Supreme Court heard oral arguments concerning SB14, which bans medically-necessary care for trans and non-binary youth. The law has been in effect since September, when the Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s injunction blocking the law. Read PFLAG National CEO Brian Bond’s full statement on the court case here.
Attorney General Paxton requests medical records of trans youth from Georgia telehealth clinic. QueerMed confirmed on January 26th that they received the request, marking the second time Paxton has made such a request. Karen Loewy, a lawyer with Lambda Legal representing organizations and Texas families of transgender youth trying to block SB 14 in court, said there is “zero authorization” in the law for Paxton’s records requests to clinics outside of Texas.
Utah - Governor Cox signs bathroom ban bill into law. The governor signed the bill into law on January 30th. The bill requires people to use bathrooms and locker rooms in public schools and government-owned buildings that match their sex assigned at birth, as well as requiring new government buildings to include single-occupant bathrooms.
Washington - Community raises concerns over inspections at Seattle gay bars. On January 26th and 27th, the Liquor and Cannabis Control Board (LCB) conducted inspections of several gays bars in Seattle during which officers claim they found evidence of “lewd conduct.” A coalition of hay bar owners and LGBTQ+ activists raised serious concerns about the inspections during an LCB meeting on January 31st, where some claimed that the LCB actions constituted “raids.”