Jun 6, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Human Rights Campaign declares state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people

A demonstrator holds a rainbow pride flag during the Drag March LA protest in West Hollywood, California, US, on Sunday, April 9, 2023.

A demonstrator holds a rainbow pride flag during the Drag March LA protest in West Hollywood, California on April 9. Photo: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Human Rights Campaign declared a state of emergency on Tuesday for LGBTQ+ people living in the U.S., the first time the organization has made such a warning in its 40-year history.

The big picture: The historic declaration comes in response to an "unprecedented and dangerous spike in anti-LGBTQ+ legislative assaults sweeping state houses this year," HRC said in a press release.

What they're saying: 'The multiplying threats facing millions in our community are not just perceived — they are real, tangible and dangerous," Kelley Robinson, the president of HRC, said in a statement.

  • "In many cases, [the laws] are resulting in violence against LGBTQ+ people, forcing families to uproot their lives and flee their homes in search of safer states, and triggering a tidal wave of increased homophobia and transphobia that puts the safety of each and every one of us at risk."

State of play: There has been an uptick in legislation targeting the LGBTQ+ community over the last several years. More than 400 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced this year, according to the ACLU.

Zoom in: HRC's state of emergency, coinciding with the beginning of Pride Month, comes after pride organizers in some Florida towns canceled events for the month following a slate of anti-LGTBQ+ bills signed into law.

  • The NAACP also issued a formal travel advisory for Florida last month, saying the state has become "openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals."

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