The rise of anti-LGBTQ+ bills across the nation


LGBTQ+ rights have been long fought for by many people and organizations.

Alex Reynolds, Commentary Writer

The United States has been known for its freedom of expression for many years, with the Constitution upholding freedom of speech, press, religion, protest, and assembly. This right was written by the founding fathers and will continue to be upheld as long as this country continues. Though important, many groups have not had their rights from the first amendment upheld. On June 24th, 2022, the infamous Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade, was overturned. Many attribute this change to new, bolder bills being passed in dozens of states across the country. Notably, one topic has been popping up all over the country; LGBTQ+ rights.

People that identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community have been fighting for rights for many decades. From the silencing of the AIDS crisis in the eighties and nineties, to the valiant fight for legalized marriage across the country just a few years ago. The legalization of gay marriage in 2015 was far from the end of the fight for equality. To this day, people across the country must fight for their rights to live as their true selves.

People should be able to love who they love and be their true authentic selves without repercussions.

— Emily Bell

As of March 22, 2023, there are 429 anti-LGBTQ+ bills across the country in 43 states. These bills range in severity, but the sheer amount of these bills appearing is concerning for many communities. On March 20, 2023, Senate Bill 14 was advanced in Texas, which would suppress access to puberty blockers and hormone therapy to transgender youth. The violation of this bill would mean that facilities that offer this care would be banned, as well as the licenses of doctors that provide this practice to be revoked. In Arizona, bill SB-1005 was passed, which allows for schools to be litigated for providing safe spaces for LGBTQ+ students.

These bills have been popping up at an alarming rate in the past few months. LGBTQ+ communities all over the country are expressing fear of what’s to come, and it seems that the inclusivity in this country is taking a step backward, rather than forward. Though many of these bills have not yet been signed, there has been an increase in the amount being proposed in just these past few months of 2023. Many even fear that the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that upholds same-sex marriage across the country, is being questioned by legislators.

The morality of the LGBTQ+ community has been questioned for all of the United States’ history. It was only in 2003 that sodomy laws all across the nation were repealed. Generations upon generations have fought for the freedom to love and be who they are for decades. While those freedoms are upheld more now than at any point in history, there is still much progress to make. Parents still teach their children to hate marginalized groups, and LGBTQ+ youth are still four times as likely to commit suicide than other people their age. Children are still being sent to conversion camps and being bullied relentlessly by their peers.

The hope is that people that are a part of the LGBTQ+ community will be able to keep their protections and continue to live freely. While we live in an age of free expression, that very right is what people are using to try and take away what they disagree with. These rights should be fundamental for everyone in the United States, however, the fight for the freedom to love is ongoing.