Court Matters

Oklahoma County District judge denies parental custody to a lesbian mother. This case involving same-sex married and estranged wives reminds same-sex couples to take extra steps to ensure custody, even in Oklahoma that grants presumed paternity to opposite-sex couples if a wife bears a child after the couple is married.

Case against Club Q shooter moves forward. District judge Michael McHenry ruled that there is sufficient evidence to bring Anderson Lee Aldrich to trial for the massacre he allegedly committed at the LGBTQ+ nightclub Club Q in Colorado Springs last year. 

Judge dismisses challenge to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law. US District judge Alan Winsor in Florida dismissed a lawsuit filed by Florida parents, students, and teachers against Florida’s law that bars classroom instruction on LGBTQ+ topics for certain ages, ruling that the plaintiffs did not have standing to challenge the law.

Federal Matters

Trans military ban bill introduced in Congress. The bill, introduced by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN), would modify the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System and remove servicemembers diagnosed with gender dysphoria. 

CDC considering changes to antibiotic guidance. Public health experts are lobbying the agency to approve the prophylactic use of antibiotics after unprotected sex for gay and bisexual men, transgender women, and other populations at increased risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A recent French study found that rates of STIs fell by 51-89% for those given the medication. 

Congressman David Cicilline to retire from Congress on June 1st. Rep. Cicilline (D-RI) announced on February 21st he would resign his seat to lead the Rhode Island Foundation. The Congressman is the Immediate Past Chair of the Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus.

State Matters

Florida - Florida institutes new restrictions on gender-affirming care for youth. The Florida Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine recently passed rules that prohibit gender-affirming care for trans youth in the state. Included in the rules is a ban on puberty blockers and hormone therapy for minors.

Indiana - “Don’t say gay” bill advances out of committee. A committee in the Indiana House of Representatives has advanced legislation that would ban LGBTQ+ topics from classroom discussion from kindergarten through third grade. Opponents of the bill, including PFLAG National, note the bill as discriminatory and motivated by prejudice against LGBTQ+ people and their families rather than concern for children’s safety.

Maryland - General Assembly considers trans rights bill. For its 2023 Session, the Maryland General Assembly will consider the Trans Health Equity Act which would require the state of Maryland to cover gender-affirming care under its state Medicaid and Medicare programs. This legislation comes as multiple states consider restricting gender-affirming care for trans youth and restrictions on LGBTQ+ inclusive school curriculum.

Mississippi - State Senate passes gender-affirming care ban. The State Senate passed a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for transgender minors on February 21st. Governor Tate Reeves has said he will sign the bill into law. 

New York - Pride flag burned in attack outside New York City restaurant. In a possible hate crime, a woman burned an LGBTQ+ pride flag flying at a New York City restaurant. A security camera captured the crime on film. After the attack, local officials displayed a larger pride flag outside the restaurant to show support for the business and the local LGBTQ+ community.

Tennessee - Gender-affirming care ban heads to governor’s desk. The General Assembly passed HB1 on February 23rd with a 77-16 vote. Governor Lee is expected to sign the bill which, if enacted, would ban minors from receiving gender-affirming care, effective July 1st.

Utah - State moves towards banning conversion therapy. On February 24th, the state legislature passed a bill that bans LGBTQ+ conversion therapy for minors. The vote in the legislature was unanimous and the bill is likely to be signed into law by Governor Spencer Cox.

Virginia - Students voice objections to proposed restrictions on trans students. At a Feb. 14th school board meeting, students in Virginia Beach voiced opposition to a proposed policy from the state Department of Education. The proposed rule would bar transgender students from using bathrooms that conform to their gender identity and force schools to inform students’ parents if their child asked to be referred to by a different name or pronouns than indicated on their birth certificate. 

Global Matters

Egypt - Security forces target LGBTQ+ community. A new report by Human Rights Watch shows that security agencies in Egypt, Iraq, and other Middle Eastern countries have been targeting LGBTQ people via social media and dating apps, leading to arrests, harassment, and extortion of LGBTQ individuals and the community. 

Jamaica - Activists demand repeal of anti-LGBTQ+ law. LGBTQ+ activists are calling for the country to repeal its harsh anti-sodomy laws used to target queer people across the Island. 

South Korea - Court rules insurance company must recognize rights of same-sex couples. The Seoul High Court historically ruled that a health insurance company must provide coverage to the same-sex partner of one of its policyholders. The case proceeds to the Supreme Court where the company will challenge the ruling.

Spain - Inclusive trans bill passed. The Spanish parliament voted on Feb. 16th to pass a bill that lets people aged 16+ change their government-assigned gender without requiring hormone therapy, previously requiring hormones for two years before governmental consideration.

United Kingdom - Anglican Church allows the blessing of same-sex couples. The Church of England permits priests to bless same-sex married couples while maintaining its ban on church weddings for same-sex couples and its opposition to same-sex marriages.

Candidate for Scottish First Minister declares opposition to same-sex marriage. Kate Forbes, Scotland’s Finance Minister and a leading contender to replace outgoing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, said that they oppose same-sec marriage as a “matter of conscience,” attracting criticism from colleagues for her views on marriage.

Media Matters


Hundreds of New York Times contributors sign trans coverage letter. Additionally thousands of subscribers have signed the letter to the paper criticizing the newspaper’s writing on trans people and issues. The paper’s critics have alleged that it is echoing the same mistakes it made during its coverage of the AIDS epidemic, and is creating a worse climate for trans Americans via its coverage. 

White Sox player comes out as gay. Anderson Comas, a minor league player of the Chicago White Sox baseball franchise came out as gay on Instagram, making him the first in the franchise and third current minor league player to do so in history. 

First same-sex couple competes on Wheel of Fortune. The couple, Charlie Brown and Kelly Pierce, appeared on the show’s weeklong Valentine’s Day special, coinciding with their 25th anniversary.

Gallup releases new LGBTQ+ poll. According to the survey, 7.2% of US adults identify as LGBTQ+. The number of LGBTQ+ adults has almost doubled in the last decade going from 3.5% to the new figure of 7.2%. The poll also found that the most common LGBTQ+ identity is bi-plus, with 58.2% of LGBTQ+ so-identifying.


PFLAG National
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