Take Action

Join us for Learning With Love: The 2023 PFLAG National Convention! We’ll be in Washington, DC October 19-22 for learning, networking and—most important—issuing a rallying cry to our legislators through PFLAG National Lobby Day. This day of direct advocacy on Thursday, October 19th will give you an opportunity to learn how to harness the power of your personal story to soften hearts, change minds, and create lasting legislative change - and we need your participation most of all.

Your representative’s support is CRUCIAL to getting pro-equality bills passed. Without constituent voices like yours, we won’t be able to share our stories and advocate for our families with your representative and their colleagues.

Worried that you don’t have the advocacy experience to be effective on Lobby Day? We’ll train you, get your meetings scheduled, get you to Capitol Hill, and have a full day of activities planned—including legislative meetings in both the Senate and the House of Representatives to talk about the issues that are most important for you and your family. 

Register today for Learning With Love: The 2023 PFLAG National Convention and you’ll start the process of getting signed up to speak with legislators. Plus, you’ll get Early Bird registration rates if you sign up before Labor Day—and if you’re a member of PFLAG National, your discount is even bigger! Early Bird rates end on Labor Day, so time is of the essence to get the best rate possible. Register by September 18th to attend PFLAG National Lobby Day!

Court Matters

Federal Appeals court panel rules that Mifepristone should remain legal pending SCOTUS ruling but places significant restrictions to patients’ access. On August 16th, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to continue the legality of the FDA’s 23-year-old approval of Mifepristone for abortion but to disallow telehealth medical visits and to limit access to prescriptions resulting from in-person physician visits, no shipping or pharmacy distribution, and available only up to seven weeks of pregnancy instead of 10.

Students and professors in Florida's New College file federal lawsuit against new state censorship law. Filed on August 17th, the lawsuit claims that the new law, which outlaws spending on diversity programs, curbs professors’ tenure security, prohibits the teaching of “identity politics” in Florida public schools, and directs university leaders to monitor against programs that are based on theories “that systemic racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege, violates Constitutional rights by censoring academic freedom. 

Nebraska Judge rules to uphold bans on medically necessary, gender-affirming care and abortion. On August 11th, Judge Lori Maret in the Lancaster County District Court rejected an attempt by The ACLU of Nebraska to block a law that will restrict medically necessary treatment for transgender and nonbinary minors and ban abortions after 12 weeks.. The law, which goes into effect October 1st, will restrict puberty blockers and hormone treatments for minors, restrict gender-affirming surgery for people under 19 and only permit abortions in cases of rape, incest, or medical emergencies. 

New Jersey Supreme Court rules that Catholic school can fire teacher for having a child out of wedlock. On August 14th, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that St. Theresa's Catholic School in Kenilworth can terminate an art teacher who became pregnant out of wedlock, using the religious tenets exception in the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination as its defense.

Federal Matters

HHS investigating VUMC for releasing health records of trans patients.The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently investigating Vanderbilt University's Medical Center (VUMC) for releasing medical records of 100 transgender patients to Tennessee's Attorney General, Jonathan Skrmetti. PFLAG National alerted HHS immediately when the letter from VUMC to parents, including PFLAG families, arrived by USPS.

U.S. Department of Education (DOE) grants religious exemption from sexual harassment claims to Baylor University . Baylor, an explicitly Christian university, requested DOE to continue to grant the school a religious exemption from certain aspects of Title IX. Several LGBTQ+ students at Baylor filed Title IX sexual harassment complaints, but DOE granted the University exemptions from enforcing anti-harassment regulations, citing the school’s religious tenets.

Federal student loan repayments to resume. Starting September 1st, interest will begin accruing again on federal student loan debt; borrowers will need to resume payments on their student loans on October 1st. Visit the Department of Education's StudentAid.gov to check current student loan status. Students seeking or exploring school debt forgiveness can also review the federal program titled Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

U.S. Attorneys embark on nationwide community conversations. The Uniting Against Hate series of community conversations with U.S. Attorneys continues. PFLAGers received a special invitation to the upcoming conversation in South Carolina. Additionally, the FBI held a meeting with state and local law enforcement officials to fortify and strengthen reporting on hate crimes and publicly posted this readout.

State Matters

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 advocacy@pflag.org to consider for inclusion.

Iowa -  School district uses AI algorithm to ban books. Mason City Community School District used an AI algorithm, Chat GPT, to identify explicit material in books. Nineteen books, including Beloved, Gossip Girl, and A Handmaid's Tale, were banned to comply with new law, Senate File 496, which bans books from school libraries that depict sexual content and discuss gender identity. 

New Hampshire - Gov. Chris Sununu signs bill banning LGBTQ+ “panic” defense. Gov. Sununu has signed HB 315 into law, which prohibits the "LGBTQ+ panic" defense in homicide cases. This new law prevents defendants from justifying their actions based on the victim's perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.

North Carolina - Legislators vote to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of three anti-LGBTQ+ bills. On August 16th, the House (74-45) and Senate voted (27-18) to override Governor Roy Cooper's veto of three bills making them law which immediately go into effect. The three bills, SB49, HB808, and HB574, ban the creation of safe spaces in the classroom, restrict medically necessary healthcare for transgender minors, and prohibit transgender participation in sports. North Carolina becomes the 22nd state to pass legislation banning gender-affirming care for transgender and nonbinary minors. 

Pennsylvania - York City passes ban on conversion therapy. The York City Council voted 3-1 to ban conversion therapy within the county. The ordinance prohibits medical or mental health professionals from using or promoting so-called “conversion therapy;” PFLAG co-hosted a Town Hall with The Trevor Project earlier this summer for community discussion.

Texas - Gov. Greg Abbott signs so-called ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’. Gov. Abbott signed Senate Bill 15, also known as the so-called "Save Women's Sports Act." The bill requires transgender athletes to compete on teams that correspond with their biological sex listed on their birth certificate instead of their gender identities at Texas universities and colleges.

Virginia - Bill removes "homosexuality" from state definition of "sexual conduct" for school materials.’ Signed into law by Gov. Glenn Youngkin, State Sen. Scott Surovell added an amendment to SB 656 to clarify that discussions of homosexuality are not sexually explicit in and of themselves. Parental notification is required whenever sexually explicit materials are taught in the classroom. 

Wisconsin - Bills reintroduced that would ban transgender students from joining women's sports teams. ABs 377 and 378 would prohibit transgender athletes from competing in sports that match their gender identity, instead requiring participation based on biological sex at birth in K-12 schools and collegiate levels. 

Global Matters

Ethiopia - LGBTQ+ people in Ethiopia blame attacks on their community on inciteful TikTok videos. Members of the LGBTQ+ community in Ethiopia, where homosexuality is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, face online harassment due to videos on TikTok outing LGBTQ+ people and calling for violence against them.

Germany - Berlin police arrest man for allegedly trying to burn memorial for LGBTQ+ victims of Nazis.  The 63-year-old suspect alleged threw a burning object at the concrete memorial on August 12th in an attempt to set it on fire; the man is suspected of placing pieces of paper with Bible verses and Christian references on the memorial. 

Malaysia - Government bans wearing rainbow symbol. The Government passed the Printing Presses and Publications Act which bans wearing, selling, and importing “LGBTQ-related” products; violators face fines of about US$4,400 or up to three years in prison in this country where being LGBTQ+ is a crime punishable by fines and prison terms up to 20 years. 

United Kingdom - Government to implement measures to reduce gender neutral bathrooms in public and private buildings. The Home Office’s Department for Levelling Up announced that the government will limit gender-neutral bathrooms in public and private buildings in an effort to protect single-sex spaces.

Media Matters

Elliot Page offers advice and encouragement for LGBTQ+ youth. Elliot Page answered audience questions and shared advice for transgender youth at the 2023 Library of Congress National Book Festival. Page also discussed his life and transition in his autobiography, "Pageboy," released in June 2023.


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

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