Jun 7, 2023 - Politics

Louisiana's "Don't Say Gay" bill and other anti-LGBTQ+ legislation nearing approval

Illustration of the stripes of the Pride flag falling onto the ground.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Three bills targeting the LGBTQ+ community are heading to Gov. John Bel Edwards' desk after amended versions passed in Senate and House this week.

  • "Don't Say Gay": The so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill (House Bill 466) prohibits discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in K-12 public schools.
  • Health care: House Bill 648 bans gender-affirming health care, such as hormone treatments or puberty-blocking drugs, to anyone younger than 18.
  • Pronouns: House Bill 81, called the "Given Name Act" by its author, restricts students' preferred names and pronouns.

Of note: A bill (Senate Bill 7) that limits what minors can check out at public libraries, primarily LGBTQ+ materials and other books deemed “sexually explicit,” is still in play.

  • It passed in the Senate and an amended version passed in the House. However, the Senate rejected the amended version Tuesday and sent the bill to a conference committee to resolve the differences.

What's next: Edwards, a Democrat, has not said if he will sign or veto the bills, according to the Louisiana Illuminator.

  • If he vetos, lawmakers can try to override him.
  • To do that, AP says, they'll need a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate. Republicans hold a two-thirds majority in both.
  • The regular legislative session ends Thursday.

The big picture: New Orleans has one of the largest concentrations of LGBTQ+ people in the U.S., with 4.7% of the adult population identifying as members of the community.

  • A 2021 analysis from UCLA's Williams Institute estimates there are about 46,000 LGBTQ+ community members here.

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