Celebrating Pride

Record amount of anti-LBGTQ legislation introduced in last year

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Anti-LGBTQ legislation reached an all-time high within the last year with more than 100 pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation introduced across the country, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

A large percentage of the legislation specifically targeted the transgender community.

Quite a few bills were passed and signed into law. In Indiana, some were filed but with push back from LGBTQ advocates, many didn’t receive a hearing. Advocates said this has been a trying year, but that are hopeful progress will continue.

When it comes to LGBTQ policy in Indiana, the state sits at the low end of the scale, according to data from the Movement Advancement Project.

“It’s been historically busy across the country. We’ve had over 100 bills attacking the rights of trans people filed in state legislatures around the country,” Kit Malone, an advocate and educator with the ACLU of Indiana, said.

She says the path to justice and equality isn’t always a direct line. And this is one of the low points.

“People who are trans disproportionately experience poverty; they’ve been kind of caught in the cross hairs of this war,” Malone said.

She and her team have taken additional steps to track anti-LGBTQ legislation in the state and around the country. She said much of it targets trans youth, but the challenges trans youth face can be a valuable life lesson.

“Once you’ve overcome that, you’ve learned a lesson about yourself, you’ve learned maybe you can do anything,” Malone said.

Malone added that support from local businesses partners, having a sustained presence in the statehouse and making a point to have legislators speak directly with trans people to help shape legislation helped prevent anti-LGBTQ bills from becoming law.

“I think that this is a long haul. I would never want to say that we’re never going to get back. I think equality for trans people is the future. I think that’s where we will go,” she said.

Some of the legislation that has received national attention centers around transgender woman and sports. Indiana is not one of the 27 states with transgender sport bans.