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.
California - Governor Newsom signs bill increasing access to PrEP and PEP. The Governor signed SB339 into law on February 6th, which, in an effort to combat HIV/AIDS, requires health plans to cover up to a 90-day supply of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) prescribed by a pharmacist, and an ongoing supply if the patient does follow-up care and testing. The new law also allows pharmacists to dispense PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) without a prescription.
Iowa - Parents sue Southeast Polk school officials, claiming they ignored homophobic bullying. The suit alleges an elementary school student was relentlessly bullied and even assaulted by his fellow students for his perceived sexual orientation and that teachers did not protect the student despite being aware of the bullying.
State House advances anti-trans bill. The House Education Committee voted on February 6th to advance HSB649, which would narrowly define “sex” in order to allow trans exclusion from sex-segregated spaces. The bill also requires a transgender person’s sex assigned at birth to be listed on their birth certificate alongside with any gender reassignment. The committee did, however, vote to remove a provision in the bill which would have required driver’s licenses issued to trans people to list both sex-assigned at birth as well as the person’s gender identity, which seriously concerned trans advocates.
Ohio - State agencies back off proposed rules restricting medically necessary care for trans and non-binary adults. The Department of Health (ODH) and Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (ODMHAS) revised proposed rules governing healthcare for trans Ohioans to only apply to patients under 18 and eased other proposed restrictions on such care. The revised rules still require that minors receive at least six months of mental health counseling before they can receive gender-affirming medications or surgeries.
South Dakota - State issues apology and payment to trans advocacy group. The Transformation Project’s contract with the state Department of Health to provide community health services to the LGBTQ+ community was abruptly canceled on December 16, 2022. The Transformation Project sued, claiming the cancellation was discriminatory. The state settled the suit, agreeing to issue an apology from the Department of Health and a payment of $300,000.
Washington - State LGBTQ Commission condemns Liquor and Cannabis Board inspections of Seattle gay bars. The LGBTQ Commission called on the Liquor and Cannabis Board to conduct a review of their enforcement activity, and determine whether LGBTQ+ venues are disproportionately targeted in review efforts. The commission also stated that state enforcement agencies must build stronger relationships with the queer community.
West Virginia - State House considers several anti-trans bills. HB5243 would effectively erase trans, non-binary, and intersex West Virginians from state recognition by defining “sex” very narrowly in the state code and removing references to “gender.” HB4233 is also being considered; that bill would prohibit a non-binary option for birth certificates.