Warning: While some of the following stories describe legislative actions to celebrate and affirm LGBTQ+ people, many cover legislation targeting the LGBTQ+ community, particularly trans and non-binary 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 constraint; feel free to forward news about your state to email@example.com to consider for inclusion.
Florida - Several anti-LGBTQ+ bills await governor’s signature. In the last week of the legislative session, lawmakers have passed several bills targeting the LGBTQ+ community. A ban on medically necessary care for trans and non-binary youth passed on May 4th. The State House also sent a bill to Governor DeSantis on May 3rd which would allow misgendering and deadnaming in Florida schools. May 3rd also saw the passage of an anti-trans bathroom bill. Governor DeSantis is expected to sign all three bills.
Queer Orlando residents create care packages for LGBTQ+ community. In response to the increasingly harsh legislation being passed in the state, LGTBQ+ activists met at the local Mexican Consulate on April 26th. The group wrote notes of encouragement and distributed resources to their most vulnerable community members, both locally and around the nation.
DeSantis appointees countersue Disney in state court. The countersuit, filed by Central Florida Tourism Oversight District on May 1st, alleges that Disney was given too much authority by previous board members, contrary to state law. The lawsuit comes on the heels of Disney’s own suit against Governor DeSantis, reported in last week’s issue of Policy Matters.
Massachusetts - Commission calls for enshrining access to gender-affirming care and discrimination protections into law. In its report released on April 27th, the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ+ Youth argued that the governor, legislature, and around 20 state agencies must adopt new policies to protect the LGBTQ+ community, particularly queer youth.
Missouri - State court places temporary hold on gender-affirming care ban order. The regulations issued by state Attorney General Andrew Bailey are one of the first efforts to restrict medically necessary care for adults rather than just children. The May 1st ruling extends the stay of the order until May 15th.
Montana - Governor signs youth gender affirming care ban. Signed on April 28th, Senate Bill 99 blocks transgender and nonbinary minors from receiving medically necessary care including hormone replacement therapy and puberty blockers. Governor Gianforte was lobbied by his nonbinary son, David Gianforte, who had called on his father to veto the bill.
Nevada - LGBTQ+ hotel to open in downtown Las Vegas. The Bent Inn will be the only LGBTQ+ hotel in the city since the last queer-focused property, the Blue Moon Hotel, closed in 2014. The Bent Inn hopes to foster a “sense of community and friendliness” for its guests when they visit Las Vegas.
Ohio - Nazi group pickets Kaleidoscope Youth Center drag brunch in Columbus. The agitators were dressed in red and black and wearing ski masks as they stood outside Land-Grant Brewing Co. on April 29th. The gang, known as the “Blood Tribe” according to the Anti-Defamation League, carried a black flag emblazoned with a large swastika as they chanted “no transgenders [sic] on our streets.”
Oklahoma - Governor signs bill banning gender-affirming care for youth. Senate Bill 613, which prohibits best practice medically necessary care for Oklahomans until the age of 18 was signed by Governor Stitt on May 1st.
Oregon - Portland Police Bureau staff angry over LGBTQ+ inclusion training. The training titled “PPB LGBTQAI2S+ and Queer Policy – Introduction and Training” resulted in multiple anonymous comments from employees including complaints that those who introduced the training are “Marxist ideologues'' and that the lesson was part of the “woke agenda.”
Pennsylvania - State House of Reps. passes non-discrimination bill. House Bill 300, which was approved by the House on May 2nd would make it illegal to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people in areas such as public services, housing, and employment. The law also adds sexual orientation and gender identity as categories under the purview of the state Human Rights Commission which investigates discrimination claims.
Texas - LGBTQ+ advocates cleared from House chamber, bill delayed. The Speaker of the House Dade Phelan ordered the public cleared from the chamber’s gallery after LGBTQ+ activists and supporters chanted against Senate Bill 14, a gender-affirming care ban for minors. At least one protester was tackled and handcuffed by police. The vote on SB14 was delayed due to a procedural maneuver by the bill’s opponents in the House.
Washington, D.C. - LGBTQ+ group implores city for greater funds. After reviewing Mayor Bowser’s proposed 2024 budget, the D.C. LGBTQ Budget Coalition is urging the mayor and the D.C. Council to include $13.5 million more in funding for specific LGBTQ+ focused programs the coalition are highlighting.
West Virginia - LGBTQ+ youth summit will continue for fourth year in a row. The Appalachian Queer Youth Summit offers a free August summer camp experience where LGBTQ+ youth ages 15-19 can learn organizing tactics and find community. The camp, which is run by the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia, aims to provide support to youths who may not receive it otherwise due to their geographical isolation in Appalachia.