LGBTQ Rights
August 29, 2022
Will states pass more bills limiting them?

Several states passed bills this year on LGBTQ-related education, transgender care and sports participation. As more states propose similar actions, the Biden administration is taking steps to support transgender citizens through executive orders that expand protections for transgender students, such as allowing them to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity and ensure correct pronouns are used. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that provided access to safe and legal abortion for 50 years. LGBTQ advocates are concerned about the court’s decision, which challenges the constitutional right to privacy — and, especially, Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion that the court should reconsider cases guaranteeing the rights to same-sex marriage and same-sex consensual relations. In response, Democrats in Congress as looking to codify same-sex marriage into law.

Photo of Walt Disney Co. employees protesting in Burbank, California, on March 22, 2022. Some Walt Disney Co. employees, including these in Burbank, Calif., staged an eight-day walkout in March over how company CEO Bob Chapek initially hesitated to speak out against Florida’s law restricting public elementary school classroom discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity. Disney is the largest private employer in Florida. (Getty Images/Los Angeles Times/Irfan Khan)

Florida enacted a law in March preventing the state’s public school teachers from holding classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity for students in kindergarten through third grade. Lessons for students older than the third grade have to be “age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” 1

The Parental Rights in Education measure, which many critics dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, took effect on July 1. The law also requires schools to inform parents when their students receive any mental health services, potentially eliminating schools as a refuge for students who might not feel comfortable talking to their parents about their gender identity or sexual orientation. 2