Join us in Washington, DC Oct. 19-22 for Learning With Love: The 2023 PFLAG National Convention. We’ll be kicking things off on Day 1 with PFLAG National Lobby Day on Capitol Hill, a chance for you to tell Members of Congress why it’s so important to support LGBTQ+ people and their families. This full day of direct advocacy is an opportunity to harness the power of your personal story to soften hearts, change minds, and create lasting legislative change.
Early Bird rates for Learning With Love: The 2023 PFLAG National Convention end on Labor Day, and the deadline to sign up for PFLAG National Lobby Day is Sept. 18th.
Federal judge temporarily blocks part of Georgia’s ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth. On August 20th, U.S. District Judge Sarah Geraghty in the U.S. District Court for Northern Georgia blocked part of Georgia’s ban on gender-affirming care. Geraghty stated that a provision in SB 140 – which went into effect on July 1st– to prevent licensed medical professionals from providing hormone replacement therapy to minors under 18 years of age is unconstitutional.
Federal judge who ordered Southwest Airlines’ lawyers get religious-liberty training delays action. On August 14th, U.S. District Court Judge Brantley Starr ordered that three attorneys representing Southwest Airlines undergo “religious liberty training” from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is a conservative Christian legal-advocacy group; however, Starr delayed his order while the airline appeals the decision in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
Alabama can enforce ban on puberty blockers and hormones for transgender children, court says. While not yet in effect, meaning gender-affirming care for minors can still continue, on Aug. 21st a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a preliminary injunction on Alabama's cruel anti-transgender law, SB 184. The law prohibits medically necessary treatment such as puberty blockers and hormone treatments for transgender and nonbinary youth under the age of 19. The trial date to determine whether to block the law permanently is set for April 2nd.
Appeals court blocks Idaho’s transgender student athlete ban. On August 17th, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a U.S. district court’s injunction of Idaho’s HB500, “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.” The March 2020 law bans transgender women and girls from competing in female sports in public schools and colleges; the plaintiffs were represented by the ACLU, Legal Voice, and Cooley LLP, which is PFLAG National’s pro bono amicus brief law firm.
District court judge allows transgender Kansans to intervene in Kobach’s driver’s license lawsuit. On August 18th, Shawnee County District Court Judge Theresa Watson granted a motion allowing transgender individuals affected by Senate Bill 180 to intervene in the lawsuit against the bill and Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach. The bill requires driver's licenses to list sex at birth instead of gender identity.
South Carolina Supreme Court rules that the law restricting abortions to when no fetal heartbeat is detected is constitutional, with limited exceptions. On August 23rd, the state’s Supreme Court ruled that abortions cannot be performed when a fetal heartbeat is detected by ultrasound, other than parental life risk or they experience rape or incest, or in the event of fatal fetal anomalies, ending an injunction to the law; Planned Parenthood South Atlantic seeks clarity on the ruling’s effective date.
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.
California - Man murders LGBTQ+ ally, clothing store owner, for displaying a Pride flag outside her store. A man fatally shot Laura (Lauri) Ann Carleton, a 66-year-old Cedar Glen clothing shop owner after arguing with her for displaying a Pride flag.
Colorado - Hospital stops providing medically necessary gender-affirming surgeries to patients aged 18- 21. Children's Hospital Colorado (Broomfield) announced last month that it will cease offering gender-affirming surgeries to its transgender adult patients. The hospital has never provided gender-affirming surgery to minors.
Florida - Parents, Equality Florida, PFLAG National, The Trevor Project and HRC launch "Parenting with Pride" program. Over 1,000 families joined before the August 15th launch to mobilize against anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and to connect Florida families with supportive resources and services, along with providing guidance on new laws.
Georgia - School board votes to fire teacher who read book on gender identity to fifth graders. The Cobb County school board voted 4-3 to terminate Katherine Rinderle's contract for reading the book "My Shadow Is Purple" to her fifth-grade class. The book explores themes of gender identity and the district school board claimed that reading it violated new Georgia laws such as HB 1084, which limits divisive concepts being taught in classrooms, and HB 1178, the so-called “Parent’s Bill of Rights,” which aims to give parents greater say in what is being taught in the classroom.
Texas - University of Houston LGBTQ+ Resource Center to be closed due to new legislation. The University of Houston will close its LGBTQ+ resource center due to SB 17. The bill, which takes effect on January 1st, will ban diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within public higher education institutions.
Virginia - Spotsylvania school district changes transgender student policies. The Spotsylvania County School Board revised policies to follow new guidance released by Governor Glenn Youngkin and the Virginia Department of Education. These policies require staff to use the names and pronouns on student records, determine bathrooms based on the sex assigned at birth, and allow parents to opt their child out of sharing facilities with transgender students.
India - High court seeks advice to make police more responsive to LGBTQ+ people. The Bombay High Court, which is the highest court in Maharashtra state, sought input on ways to make police officers more sensitive to the LGBTQ and intersex community. This was after a same-sex couple filed a petition for police protection from their family.
Italy - Army General disciplined over book that contains anti-LGBTQ+ comments. Guido Crosetto, the Italian Defense Minister, has taken disciplinary action against Army General Robert Vannaci for his self-published book containing derogatory comments about LGBTQ+ individuals, migrants, minorities, and feminists.
Malaysia - LGBTQ+ fears grow in Malaysia as Islamists shatter reform hopes. Since being elected as Prime Minister last November, Anwar Ibrahim's efforts to appeal to the Islamist Party, PAS, who have a strict interpretation of Sharia law and oppose LGBTQ+ rights, have resulted in increased discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in Malaysia.
Spain - First openly transgender national Senator elected on August 17th. Carla Antonelli, a politician and transgender advocate, became Spain’s first openly transgender national Senator, elected by Madrid’s regional Parliament, previously was elected to serve in Madrid’s regional parliament, where she was the first openly transgender person elected to that post.