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Push to restrict LGBTQ+ rights hits a snag in state legislatures

Started by Jessica_Rose, April 29, 2024, 08:53:52 AM

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Push to restrict LGBTQ+ rights hits a snag in state legislatures

Story by Casey Parks (29 April 2024)

Lawmakers introduced a record number of bills targeting gay and transgender Americans this year, but hardly any have passed, raising questions about whether the push to restrict LGBTQ++ rights is losing momentum.

The bills sought to regulate everything from which bathrooms transgender people can use to whether Pride flags can be raised in public buildings. Similar bills sailed through state legislatures in recent years. This year, they failed even in states where Republicans have supermajorities and governors demanded wins.

So far, just 20 bills have passed, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, down from more than 75 last year.

Strategists on both sides say Republicans appear increasingly unwilling to stake their reelections on cultural issues. Though many Americans support policies such as banning trans girls and women from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity, polls have found that the issues aren't especially important to voters.

"We're finding this to be sort of a lightning rod issue," said Sarah Parshall Perry, the senior legal fellow for The Heritage Project, a conservative think tank. "I think there is some legislative will to try to back off a little bit and possibly pump the brakes on what had been previously a more aggressive approach." 

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Even Joe Biden recently said that, although he supports LGBTQ rights, he is hesitant to focus on those issues during his campaign. It is very polarizing and if he were to make his campaign about that and lose re-election, the new Administration would focus on undoing any progress made. Instead, he is showing his support and making moves tangentially by pushing women's civil rights because... who doesn't love women? These issues are less likely to draw attention from the far-right fanatics.
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