LGBTQ voters expect legislation targeting abortion and transgender healthcare to increase next year

LGBTQ Americans are bracing for increased legislative attacks on reproductive rights and access to gender-affirming healthcare from newly elected federal and state officials, according to a new survey commissioned by GLAAD and shared for the first time with The Hill.

An overwhelming majority of LGBTQ voters in a post-election poll said the pace of bills introduced in Congress and state legislatures that aim to restrict abortion access and limit the rights of transgender people is unlikely to slow anytime soon. term.

About 80 percent of those surveyed said they hope state and federal legislators, and even local school board members, will continue to introduce measures that seek to limit the way transgender people can access health care, compete in sports teams or speak openly about their identities.

Eighty-two percent said they expect states to step up efforts to pass partial or complete abortion bans in the next two years.

A handful of states, including Massachusetts Y California this year it enacted laws aimed at protecting access to abortion and gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth, but federal legislation addressing either has yet to be successfully introduced.

Senate Bills to Codify Abortion Protections could not pass twice this year and while no house of Congress has introduced legislation aimed at safeguarding access to gender-affirming care or strengthening the rights of transgender people, several House Republicans have introduced measures to restrict them.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) in August introduced a bill that would make providing gender-affirming health care to minors a crime punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) announced in October that he was sponsoring a measure to prohibit federal dollars from being used to make “sexual orientation” materials, including “any topic” related to sexual orientation or gender identity, available to children under the age of 10.

See also  New laws could soon require some public universities to offer abortion pills

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has promised to introduce federal legislation in the GOP-controlled House next year to ban transgender women and girls from competing on women’s sports teams.

Congress, controlled by Democrats in the House and Senate, has moved to pass legislation to enshrine same-sex and interracial marriage into federal law.

The Respect for Marriage Act received final approval from the Senate last week and the House of Representatives is expected to approve a vote early Thursday. President Biden has promised to quickly sign the measure into law if it reaches his desk.

Passage of the bill could bring more LGBTQ voters to the polls in 2024, according to Thursday’s GLAAD poll, with 60 percent of those polled agreeing that passing federal legislation protecting marriage equality would make them more likely to vote in 2024, including 59 percent of 2022 non-voters.

The majority of those surveyed, 57 percent, said it is “absolutely essential” that Congress adopt federal legislation guaranteeing marriage equality. Sixty-four percent said that access to abortion should also be protected by federal law.

More than half of LGBTQ voters who participated in this year’s midterm elections said their decision to vote was driven by a desire to restore abortion rights and protect LGBTQ equality, according to GLAAD. More than 14 million LGBTQ Americans voted in November, the group said Thursday, most of them Democratic.

“These high turnout numbers reflect voters’ recognition of their own power and deep concern about the rollback of rights,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO, in a statement. “LGBTQ individuals and youth are under increasing attack from politicians and political extremists pushing baseless legislation and damaging rhetoric that leads to real-life violence, but we will not be silenced.”

See also  ESPN broadcasters hold a moment of silence to protest Florida's LGBT education bill

Nearly half of the LGBTQ people surveyed by GLAAD said the current political environment and rhetoric about LGBTQ issues has had a negative impact on their mental health and made them more fearful for their personal safety. The impact is even more profound among transgender Americans: 70 percent said their emotional well-being had been affected and 72 percent said they feared for their safety.

More than 40 percent of respondents said they feel unsafe discussing LGBTQ and political issues on social media using their real names, including more than half of transgender respondents.

Thursday’s GLAAD poll was conducted by Pathfinder Opinion Research between November 16 and 20, the days before and immediately after a deadly shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs.

In 2022, more than 300 bills seeking to curb LGBTQ rights were introduced in state legislatures across the country. Legislation targeting transgender athletes, drag performances and access to gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth and young adults has already been pre-introduced for the upcoming 2023 session in more than a dozen states.

California and Missouri state legislators have released proposed legislation to strengthen anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people and protect access to gender-affirming health care.