A record election this year for the LGBT community coincided with a historic number of bills targeting their rights.
According to the data, at least 1065 LGBTQ people ran for office this year, and around 416 of them are running for seats in state legislatures. Out of these 416 candidates, 281 reached the general election, and 185 won. The election day win rate for them was 66 percent. This report is presented by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, an organization that works in support of queer people running for office.
Statewise, California has at least 10 percent of its state lawmakers identify openly as LGBTQ, the first for any USA legislature. The democrats of California celebrated their win, but they need to handle the restricted measures which target the LGBTQ community such as the “Don’t Say Gay” law which prohibits some lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida.
A Fresh Battle Awaits Some LGBTQ Legislators After A Historic Election Year
One of the LGBTQ political candidates is 34-year-old Zooey Zephyr, also the first openly trans woman elected to the Montana legislature. She along with a record-number winning LGBTQ state legislative candidates across the country will join the office in January when the republicans will likely propose anti-LGBTQ bills again.
State legislatures are the battleground for its members over LGBTQ rights. After the legalization of same-sex marriage by the Supreme Court in 2015, the Republicans began introducing bills targeting queer rights at an increased pace. In 2017 they introduced 129 bills against the LGBTQ community, mainly focussing on religious freedom issues.
Last year, the advocates called it the worst year in recent history for LGBTQ state legislative attacks as the number of such bills increased to 191, and 17 of these bills became law.
According to the highest and largest LGBTQ supporter, Human Rights Campaign, there is a high increase in the proposal of these bills as 340 such bills have been introduced in 23 states. And 25 bills have been enacted into law in 13 states till now.
These bills constitute more than 40 percent of them targeting transgender people by limiting their free activities such as limiting their ability to play sports, use the bathroom as per their gender identity, and receive gender-affirming health care.
The last bill was passed by only one vote. This motivated Zephyr to stand as a political candidate for her community. In an interview, she said that watching bills pass through the legislature by one vote made her cry, and she thought that she could change one heart, and one mind, and the bill could have been stopped. For that, representation in that room is required, and she would try to get in there. And she did.
She further stated the effects of such laws on her community and that the legislation has real, tangible effects on trans people and their families. Due to these laws and discrimination, she had seen her friends fleeing the state and friends ending their lives.
However, lawmakers have begun drafting new legislation for the next session with some Republicans requesting proposals that would constraint health care for trans teens, prohibit children from attending drag shows, and change the state constitution to redefine gender.
Zephyr and many LGBTQ representatives are positive that they will push back the proposals that will be harmful to their community which states how important representation is for minorities and vulnerable communities.
The bills by the extremists to make the LGBTQ community, specifically transgender people, vulnerable acted as a motivation for the community to stand for elections to raise their voice for their community where it can be heard, State legislatures.
I've been writing about LGBTQ issues for more than a decade as a journalist and content writer. I write about things that you care about. LGBTQ+ issues and intersectional topics, such as harmful stories about gender, sexuality, and other identities on the margins of society, I also write about mental health, social justice, and other things. I identify as queer, I'm asexual, I have HIV, and I just became a parent.