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State Matters

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 advocacy@pflag.org to consider for inclusion.

Anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes in K-12 schools quadrupled in states with anti-LGBTQ+ education laws. A Washington Post analysis of FBI data on anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes taking place in K-12 schools and on college campuses, published on March 12, found that anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes more than doubled across the country in recent years. However, this rise in school hate crimes was more pronounced in the 28 states that have enacted anti-LGBTQ+ policies including restricting LGBTQ+ students' self-expression and limiting how teachers can talk about gender and sexuality in school - more than tripling on K-12 and college campuses and more than quadrupling in K-12 schools alone.

California - UC Santa Barbara marks 50th anniversary of the death of provost ousted during “Lavender Scare.” March 28th will be the 50th anniversary of Clark George Kuebler’s death. Mr. Kuebler was accused of being gay and forced to resign as provost in 1955 as part of the broader “Lavender Scare,” during which LGBTQ+ government workers, University officials, and others were harassed and often fired from their jobs. 

Georgia - Legislators seek total ban on medically necessary care for trans and non-binary youth. Last year, legislators passed a law banning most gender-affirming care for trans and non-binary youth. However, on March 11th, the Senate advanced HB 1170, which would take away a carve out in last year’s law allowing those who were already receiving gender-affirming care to continue to get that care, ending the last remaining pathway for trans and non-binary youth to access medically necessary care in the state. 

Kansas - Court rules state can refuse to update gender markers on driver’s licenses. State District Judge Teresa Watson ruled on March 11th that the state constitution does not compel Kansas to recognize gender identity on driver’s licenses. 

Minnesota - Bills aim to create more inclusive schools for LGBTQ+ students. One bill would bar schools from banning Pride flags, another would require school districts to adopt gender-inclusive policies for extracurricular activities, and another would provide funding to nonprofits that help families seeking refuge from anti-LGBTQ+ laws to relocate to Minnesota. 

Mississippi - State House passes anti-trans erasure bill. The House passed a bill on March 13th which would define sex narrowly to be binary and immutable, essentially barring state recognition of trans, non-binary, and intersex Mississippians. 

Nebraska - Gov. Pillen approves rules restricting access to medically necessary care for trans and non-binary youth. On March 12th, Governor Pillen approved rules proposed by the state health department which impose a number of restrictions for trans and non-binary youth seeking care in the state, including requiring a minimum of 40 hours of therapy before receiving any medications. 

Texas - Superintendent suspended after transgender student removed from a high school production of "Oklahoma!" The Sherman Independent School District School Board of Trustees voted on March 8th to suspend Superintendent Tyson Bennett. The decision was related to an investigation into a trans student's removal from his role in “Oklahoma!” The student was reinstated in his role after public outcry over his removal.

Wisconsin - In last day of session, legislators pass anti-LGBTQ+ bills. On March 12th, likely the last day of regular session for the legislature, the Senate passed dozens of bills, including an anti-trans athlete ban and a gender-affirming care ban. Governor Tony Evers has promised to veto both bills.

Court Matters

Senate confirms first openly LGBTQ+ judge to Fourth Circuit Court. Nicole Berner, formerly the general counsel for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), was confirmed as a Fourth Circuit Court judge on March 19th by a vote of 50-47. She is the 11th openly LGBTQ+ judge confirmed to serve on a federal court under President Biden. PFLAG National endorsed this appointment.

Fifth Circuit Court blocks Texas immigration law. SB 4, which would allow Texas police officers to arrest alleged undocumented immigrants, is enjoined from enforcement after the Fifth Circuit voted 2-1 on March 19th to temporarily block the law. The Circuit Court decision came just hours after the Supreme Court allowed the law to go into effect.

Federal Matters

Senators Butler and Smith introduce Pride in Mental Health Act. Senators Laphonza Butler (D-CA) and Tina Smith (D-MN) introduced the bill on March 14th. The Pride in Mental Health Act, which PFLAG National has endorsed, would strengthen resources in mental health and crisis intervention for at-risk LGBTQ youth.

Global Matters

Ireland - Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announces his resignation. Mr. Varadkar became the first openly gay Prime Minister in Irish history in 2017. His resignation, announced March 20th, will take effect once his party chooses a successor. 

United Kingdom - England’s National Health Service (NHS) bans puberty blockers for trans and nonbinary youth. The NHS announced the ban will remain in place until a study into the effects of puberty blockers can be completed and eligibility criteria decided upon. 

Dorset police chief apologizes to LGBTQ+ community. Dorset’s police force is the 13th in the UK to apologize for past treatment of LGBTQ+ Britons.

Media Matters


LGBTQ+ activist David Mixner dies at 77. Mixner became the first openly LGBTQ+ person to hold a public-facing role in a presidential campaign when he served as an adviser to Bill Clinton in 1992. He was later arrested for publicly protesting President Clinton outside the White House for signing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” into law.

Oprah Winfrey pays tribute to her late brother during GLAAD Media Awards. Winfrey tearfully spoke about her brother, Jeffrey, who died in 1989 at age 29 of AIDS-related complications. Winfrey reflected on how she has amplified LGBTQ+ voices and dispelled misinformation about HIV/AIDS on her longtime talkshow. 

Share of adults who identify as LGBTQ+ reaches new high. According to a Gallup survey, 7.6% of adults in the U.S. identify as LGBTQ+, up from 5.6% in 2020. More than 20% of adults 18-26 (who are part of the “Gen Z” generation) identify as LGBTQ+, as do almost 10% of adults aged 27-42 (Millennials). 

Listen to NPR’s 1A Episode about Being an LGBTQ+ Student in the US Today. Hear LGBTQ+ youth talk about their lives in school right now and what they need to feel supported in the current hostile environment.


PFLAG National
(202) 467-8180 | love@pflag.org

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