May 10, 2021
In 2021, our nation’s deep political divide is reflected in a flood of legislation targeting LGBTQ people. The 1,100 bills now pending in state legislatures are in part the handiwork of GOP leaders who are threatened by changing cultural norms and growing public support for the LGBTQ community. They are particularly fixated on demonizing transgender children and criminalizing doctors who care for their needs. But there is also a surge of pro-LGBTQ bills, including proposed bans on conversion therapy and discrimination in the workplace. And we are in a pivotal moment at federal level too. This could be the year to finally enact the Equality Act, which amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by extending protections against discrimination in employment, housing and public spaces to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Fran Hutchens, Executive Director of Equality Federation, describes this moment as a reaction to the movement’s cultural, policy and political gains over the 20 years. The Federation’s member organizations are tackling each challenge and opportunity in their respective states and they are leveraging their collective powers to ensure that all families are treated justly. As Fran says, it all starts with building relationships.