Court Matters

SCOTUS hears oral arguments on Pres. Biden's student loan forgiveness program. The court heard arguments concerning the debt forgiveness program on Feb. 28th in two cases, one brought by six states’ Attorneys General and the other brought by two people who hold student loan debt, Myra Brown and Alexander Taylor.

U.S. appeals court panel expressed concern about offering private businesses a blanket workplace bias religious exemption against LGBTQ+ employees. A three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals weighed on Feb. 28th whether to reverse a Texas judge's order barring the U.S. EEOC from pursuing LGBTQ+ bias claims against employers with religious objections.

Jury convicts DC resident of assault with significant bodily injury of LGBTQ+ pedestrian. On Feb. 27th, Anthony Duncan was found guilty by a jury in the Superior Court of DC and faces up to three years in prison; The Honorable Lynn Leibovitz scheduled sentencing for April 28th.

Federal Matters

Pres. Biden to nominate Julie Su as Sec. of Labor. Su has served as deputy labor secretary since 2021 and would replace Marty Walsh, who departs the administration in March to head the National Hockey League Players Association.

Pres. Biden issues Proclamation designating March 2023 as Women's History Month. Issued on Feb. 28th, it celebrates the countless women who have fought tirelessly and courageously for equality, justice, and opportunity in the U.S. and reaffirms commitment to advancing rights and opportunities for women and girls in the U.S. and worldwide.

Resolution to honor Black LGBTQ+ leaders sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee. Cosponsors include Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus Chair, Rep. Mark Pocan (WI), and Vice Chair, Rep. Ritchie Torres (NY.), along with 29 others.

Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus announces Vice Chairs Reps. Primila Jayapal (WA-7) and Sara Jacobs (CA-51) as Co-Chairs of its Transgender Task Force. The Transgender Equality Task Force, launched in the 114th Congress and the first Caucus task force, is committed to advocating for legislative and administrative action to ensure that transgender people are treated equally and with dignity and respect.

State Matters

Florida-  Court rules in favor of school district. Senior Judge Richard Oftedal of the 15th judicial Circuit Court in Florida dismissed a lawsuit brought by a parent against the Palm Beach County school district for teaching “homosexuality” and “gay pride.” The lawsuit argued that the father’s parental rights were violated when two LGBTQ+ pride flags were displayed in his son's classroom.

Iowa- Youth plan statewide protest. Students plan to stage a walkout from classes across 14 different school districts on Wednesday, March 1st, to protest legislation that they say would harm LGBTQ+ people in the state. The threatening legislation includes a bill that would require schools to out transgender students to their parents, as well as a bill that would ban the teaching of LGBTQ+ topics to students before the 7th grade.

Louisiana- Librarians fear extremist backlash. Extremist groups have been challenging libraries on their LGBTQ+-related content, targeting individual librarians for online harassment and trying to ban children from books that they view as sexually explicit. This includes books dealing with the experience of being queer and adolescent sexual development.

Maryland- Proud Boys attack queer event. On February 18th, police intervened after extremist group Proud Boys unsuccessfully attempted to disrupt a drag queen story hour hosted by Loyalty Bookstore in Silver Spring. The Proud Boys were blocked from the event by the Parasol Patrol, a group of LGBTQ+ people and allies that helps protect drag story hours from being disrupted by extremists.

Mississippi- State enacts gender-affirming care ban for minors. On Feb. 28th, Governor Tate Reeves signed into law and effective immediately, the bill banning hormone replacement therapy and gender reassignment surgery for anyone under 18 years old.

Missouri- LGBTQ+ friendly Christian school closes. The Urban Christian Academy is closing after operating for nearly a decade due to a lack of funding. The school always featured inclusivity in its mission, and it lost donors after adding language supportive of LGBTQ+ people to its mission statement, resulting in an 80% loss in funding for the school.

Oregon-  Anti-LGBTQ+ administration unchallenged in school district. A public records request has shown that the Cook County schools Superintendent had repeatedly engaged with anti-LGBTQ+ activists focused on removing queer themed books from schools, agreeing with, and implementing their suggestions sent via email. In one email exchange, the superintendent called an LGBTQ+ themed book singled out by the activists a “disgusting book that has no place in schools.”

Pennsylvania- Historically, Rep. Joanna McClinton becomes first female and second black person elected Speaker of the House. Outgoing House Speaker Mark Rozzi (D) announced that he would step down to make way for McClinton, calling her one of “the most intelligent and compassionate women I have met in politics.”

Tennessee- Governor will sign anti-drag bill. Governor Bill Lee has indicated that he will sign legislation to ban drag shows in the presence of minors, or what the bill calls “adult-oriented entertainment.” At the same time, Governor Lee is under fire for an old yearbook photo of him dressed as a woman, with critics making comparisons between the Governor’s photo and the drag events he is targeting.

Global Matters

El Salvador- Government misses one-year deadline for implementing trans protections. In defiance of the country's Supreme Court, the legislative assembly declined to pass legislation creating a legal framework for officially changing gender. According to Human Rights Watch, a legal gender change procedure would help reduce discrimination faced by transgender Salvadoran people.

Kenya- Kenya allows LGBTQ+ orgs to officially register. The country’s Supreme Court ruled that the government cannot prevent LGBTQ+ organizations from registering as official NGOs. The ruling finishes the decade-long legal struggle that started after the Kenyan NGO Coordination Board refused to permit the LGBTQ+ nonprofit, National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC), to register as an NGO in 2013. 

Uganda- New anti-LGBTQ+ legislation proposed. The government is set to propose a new law that would further criminalize the country's LGBTQ+ community. The exact nature of the law is unclear since same-sex sexual acts are already illegal there, but the speaker of parliament described the proposed legislation as a “bill for anti-homosexuality.”

Ukraine- LGBTQ+ Shelter helps queer refugees in Ukraine. Over 90,000 British pounds have been raised for a shelter in Ukraine that gives housing and classes to LGBTQ+ people affected by the Russian invasion. According to the shelter’s security manager’s opinion, the year-long war has led to increased acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community from their fellow Ukrainians as solidarity of war overcomes societal prejudice.

Media Matters


Lesbian cricket champion and her partner announce they are expecting a baby. The women’s cricket star Sarah Taylor announced via her social media pages, with sonogram images and pictures of the couple, that she and her partner, Diana Main, are having a child together. 

Study finds that race is a major factor in treatment of LGBTQ+ people in schools. A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law found that LGBTQ+ POC (people of color) experience anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination at double the rate of their white LGBTQ+ counterparts in higher education and college application and graduation data. 

Gay ranchers challenge stereotypes of LGBTQ+ community. Ranchers Levi Gorsuch and Danny Leonard are a same-sex couple who own B Bar L Hereford Cattle in Juniata, Nebraska, showing that LGBTQ+ Americans can thrive in a rural setting. They are emblematic of rural LGBTQ+ Americans who, while in the millions, have not had the same level of societal recognition as their urbanized counterparts.

Meta ran 200 anti-LGBTQ+ ads. The company allowed over 200 ads with an anti-LGBTQ+ slur on their platforms despite it being a violation of their hate speech policies. The word “groomer” appeared in more than 200 advertisements on both Instagram and Facebook, both owned by Meta and generated almost one million impressions from users.


PFLAG National
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