Court Matters

Supreme Court declines to hear case challenging Washington’s conversion therapy ban. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the conversion therapy ban earlier this year, so the Supreme Court declining to hear the case means the ban will remain in effect. 

Supreme Court to review case involving access to common abortion pill. Mifepristone, which was first approved by the FDA in 2000, is currently available through the mail and prescriptions can be obtained via telehealth appointments. Plaintiffs argue that the FDA exceeded its authority when it made the pill easier to access; when it was first approved, Mifepristone had to be prescribed in person, over three visits to a doctor.

Supreme Court allows Illinois’ semiautomatic weapons to remain in place. By declining to accept an appeal from the Seventh Circuit Court, the Supreme Court allowed the lower court’s ruling that banning such weapons is constitutional to stand. The ban was enacted after a gunman killed seven people and wounded 48 others with an AR-15 on July 4th, 2022.

Federal Matters

Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta to step down early in 2024. She is the first woman of color and the first civil rights attorney to hold the third-highest position in the US Department of Justice; Gupta is a social justice champion and was thanked by AG Merrick Garland for being a trusted advisor and will always be distinguished in the LGBTQ+ community for joining President Obama’s AG Loretta Lynch to deliver remarks in 2016 announcing their lawsuit against North Carolina's HB2, letting trans youth know they are seen and supported.

House members intend to introduce a second anti-trans athlete ban. The bill, which will be called the “Save Women’s Sports Act” would require schools K-12 schools and colleges which receive federal money to designate sports teams based on sex assigned at birth, rather than gender identity. 

Anti-LGBTQ provisions stripped from National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA, a defense spending bill, initially included two measures targeting gender-affirming care along with a book ban and a drag ban. 

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra meets with leaders of LGBTQ+ organizations. PFLAG National’s CEO Brian K. Bond attended the December 11th meeting and described the meeting as very positive for the work ahead to shore up health equity and all that correlates to it.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA-7) introduces bill to fight book bans. The Books Save Lives Act would require all federally funded public and school libraries to maintain a diverse collection of books and would classify discriminatory book bans as violations of federal civil rights laws. It would also require primary and secondary schools to hire a trained librarian and direct the Government Accountability Office to report on the effect of book bans on communities of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and other underrepresented groups. The Congresswoman also hosted a roundtable discussion on book bans on December 14th, which included PFLAG National’s Patrick Cochran, who included a message from PFLAGer Mindy Freeman of Bucks County, PA in his remarks. Mindy and her daughter Lily shared more about their efforts to fight book bans on Good Morning America this past June.

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 to consider for inclusion.

District of Columbia - Whitman Walker Health awarded $22.5 million for newly opened Max Robinson Center. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the award to expand the facility’s healthcare and community services operations; the funding is part of the Congress-passed federal COVID “Rescue Plan.”

Minnesota - Trans leaders in Minnesota seek trans woman's murder to be treated as a hate crime. Rep. Leigh Finke [pronounced FIN-key] and members of the House Queer Caucus in a State House event on December 7th in response to the murder of transgender woman Savannah Williams on November 29th.

Ohio - Bill banning gender-affirming care, trans athletes heads to governor’s desk. HB68 passed the State Senate and then the House on December 13th. Governor DeWine has 10 days to sign or veto the bill. Ohioans, we can’t let trans kids get banned for the holidays. Contact the governor TODAY and tell him to VETO HB68!

Black trans woman and gender non-conforming gay man remembered after Ohio shooting. Amiri Reid and Kejuan Richardson, respectively, were shot and killed on November 14th in a senseless attack.

Global Matters

Morocco - Child victim of sexual assault jailed for violating law criminalizing same-sex relations. A boy from Ouarzazate was sentenced to six months in prison and fined $200 after a muezzin, an authority figure in a mosque, raped him. The muezzin was sentenced to eight years in prison. A Moroccan LGBTQ+ advocacy group called TALAY’AN NGO called for the child’s immediate release and the repeal of laws targeting the LGBTQ+ community. 

United Kingdom - Openly gay Member of Parliament says he no longer feels safe in the country. Sir Chris Bryant, the MP for Rhondda in southern Wales, said in a speech to Parliament that he feels less safe in the UK as a gay man than he did a few years ago, in part due to the rhetoric Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch has used in parliamentary debates. 

Government scraps debate on proposal for reparations to victims of “gay military ban.” Former Defense Secretary Ben Wallace had promised a debate on reparations for those wrongfully expelled from the armed forces but the government no longer plans to do so. LGBTQ+ military groups and others have criticized the decision.

Media Matters


Lesbian long-distance swimmer Diane Nyad changes stance on trans athletes, now firmly on the side of inclusion. She said she regrets any harm she may have caused, having changed her position after some deep dive thinking and learning that the science is more complex than she originally thought and that knowledgeable, supportive experts are involved.

LGBTQ+ book sales reach new records. LGBTQ+ fiction book sales increased 7% this year, which represent a 200% increase from 2019. Total fiction sales, by contrast, decreased by 3% this year.

Cis woman cyclist defends two trans women who beat her in championship race. Kristen Chalmers penned an open letter with dozens of other cisgender women who competed at the Illinois State Cyclocross Championship defending their transgender counterparts. Chalmers also criticized media coverage suggesting that trans women being included in the race was unfair.


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