MAP’s Equality Maps provide a detailed snapshot of the current state of LGBTQ laws and policies in the United States. In this regularly changing landscape, these are the state and local policy updates from May 5 through June 13, 2023.
2023 has seen a record number of political attacks and continued threats against LGBTQ people, especially transgender people. The contents of this month’s update include the following:
- Four New LGBTQ Equality Maps
- State Policy Updates
- Local Policy Updates
- MAP’s Equality Bill Tracker with a count of the overall anti-LGBTQ bills introduced so far this year, and the count by several categories of bills.
- Declines in States’ LGBTQ Equality Rankings
▸▸ New Equality Maps
We recently launched four new Equality Maps:
- Bathroom Bans
- Defining “Sex” To Allow Discrimination
- Transgender Healthcare “Shield” or “Refuge” Laws
- Restrictions on Drag Performances
▸▸ State Policy Updates
Bans on medical care for transgender youth
20 states have enacted bans or restrictions on best practice medical care for transgender youth.
Nearly 1 in 3 transgender youth live in states where medically necessary health care is banned (or will be, if and when the bans go into effect).
- May 1: Oklahoma (effective immediately, but currently not being enforced). A lawsuit has already been filed, and the state’s attorney general has agreed not to enforce the ban during the lawsuit.
- May 17: Florida (effective immediately, but already temporarily enjoined). This new legislative ban significantly expands the existing administrative ban, such as through new felony penalties and provisions that create significant obstacles to gender-affirming care for transgender adults in the state. The existing lawsuit against the earlier administrative ban was amended to include this new legislation, and a federal court has temporarily enjoined the youth ban, with new court filings expected very soon to address the adult provisions.
- May 22: Nebraska (takes effect October 1, 2023). This ban, which applies up to age 19, also bans abortion. This is the first ban that explicitly targets reproductive rights and gender-affirming care. A lawsuit has already been filed.
- June 2: Texas (takes effect September 1, 2023). This is the largest state by population to have this kind of ban.
- June 7: Missouri (takes effect August 28, 2023). This also prohibits the state’s Medicaid program from covering gender-affirming care for anyone regardless of age and prohibits the state from covering gender-affirming surgery for incarcerated people regardless of age. This follows the state’s attorney general May 16 action terminating his earlier “emergency rule” that would have applied to effectively all transgender people in the state, regardless of age.
Blocking or fighting bans on medical care for transgender people
Details on the challenges to these bans can be found in our supporting citations. This link also includes effective dates, exceptions, and more.
- New lawsuits were filed in Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, and the existing lawsuit in Florida was expanded to include the state’s new legislative ban.
This means that at least half of the 20 states with bans on medical care for transgender youth have an active lawsuit already filed. Lawsuits are expected but not yet filed in the remaining states with bans.
- May 16: The Missouri attorney general terminated his “emergency rule” that would have effectively banned gender-affirming care for all transgender people, regardless of age. A new legislative ban was later enacted for transgender minors (and for transgender adults on Medicaid or who are incarcerated), but this law will sunset in four years.
- May 18: Oklahoma’s attorney general signed a binding agreement that he will not enforce the state’s trans youth healthcare ban during the ongoing lawsuit
- June 6: Florida’s youth healthcare ban was temporarily blocked/enjoined, and new filings are expected very soon to seek a block on the adult provisions as well.
“Don’t Say LGBTQ” curriculum censorship laws
As of this update, 10 states censor what schools can say about LGBTQ people and issues.
More than 1 in 4 LGBTQ youth (26%) now live in states with a “Don’t Say LGBTQ” style censorship law.
LGBTQ Curricular Laws
LGBTQ-related curricular laws are important for LGBTQ students' health, wellbeing, and academic success. This map shows…
New LGBTQ school censorship laws were enacted in:
- May 4: Indiana (grades preK-3).
- May 18: Florida (expanding to preK-8). Last year’s notorious “Don’t Say Gay” law applied to grades K-3. In May, a new bill was enacted expanding the legislative ban to grades preK-8.
- May 26: Iowa (K-6). This law also eliminated requirements that students learn that a vaccine exists to prevent HPV, as well as any previously required age-appropriate instruction about HIV, among other provisions.
Forced outing of transgender students in schools
- May 4: Indiana (as part of its new “Don’t Say LGBTQ” law)
- May 8: North Dakota
- May 26: Iowa (as part of its new “Don’t Say LGBTQ” law)
Bans on transgender people’s use of bathrooms and facilities
- May 8: North Dakota enacted its second bathroom ban in 2023. The first ban, enacted in April, applies to bathrooms/facilities in public college dorms and as well as in prisons. The May 2023 ban applies to K-12 settings.
- May 17: Florida enacted a new bathroom ban that is so wide-reaching that a new category on our Equality Map was created to reflect its scope and escalation. The law applies to K-12, higher education, and all publicly-owned or leased (or even partially publicly-owned or leased) facilities, which includes government buildings, public parks, sports stadiums, airports, and much more.
The Florida bathroom ban also carries criminal penalties, punishable by potential imprisonment.
Bans on transgender youth participating in school sports
Nearly 1 in 3 transgender youth (31%) live in a state with a sports ban. So far, 22 states have this kind of ban. New sports bans were enacted in:
- May 30: Alabama (expanded its existing K-12 ban to college sports).
- June 7: Missouri (applies to both K-12 and college, but the ban will expire in four years).
Religious exemptions for medical providers
To date, nine states have these laws, meaning that 1 in 5 LGBTQ people (20%) live in states that allow medical providers to refuse to provide medical care to LGBTQ people (and others) if they claim religious objections to doing so.
New exemptions have been enacted in the following states:
Targeting or restricting drag performances
Two states explicitly restrict drag performances and three additional states have laws regarding “adult” performances that could be used to target drag.
- May 17: Florida (targets drag performances, but does not explicitly ban or restrict it).
- May 22: Montana (explicitly restricts drag performances).
Banning gender marker changes on birth certificates
Five states now ban gender or sex marker changes on a birth certificate. An additional 12 states impose invasive and burdensome requirements to do so.
- May 8: North Dakota banned any changes to the sex marker on birth certificate. This comes shortly after April’s ban on the use of “X” markers on birth certificates.
- May 15: The Indiana Supreme Court declined to hear two cases, and as a result, state courts now cannot issue new birth certificates unless explicitly authorized to do so by the legislature.
Defining “sex” to allow discrimination against transgender and nonbinary people
Four states now explicitly define “sex” throughout all state law to exclude transgender and nonbinary people and effectively allow discrimination against them. Three of these states enacted these laws just this past month:
Movement Advancement Project | Defining Sex
The policies shown in this map are blanket bans on transgender people's participation in sports, which are both…
Protecting the harmful practice of conversion “therapy”
- May 1: Indiana enacted a first-of-its-kind law banning any local-level bans on conversion “therapy.”
Blocking or fighting anti-LGBTQ laws
- Tennessee’s first-of-its-kind law restricting drag was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge, though the state may appeal the decision.
- A new lawsuit was filed against Indiana’s “Don’t Say LGBTQ” law.
- Arizona’s governor has vetoed a record 111 bills and counting, including an anti-transgender bathroom ban, a bill targeting transgender students’ pronouns, and more.
Enacting new, pro-LGBTQ laws
Click each link to go directly to the relevant Equality Map or state profile.
- Both Minnesota and Maryland repealed their sodomy laws, though Maryland’s governor is allowing the bill to become law without his signature.
- Maryland enacted a new law creating domestic partnerships for all couples (not only same-sex couples).
- Both Vermont and Maryland enacted a new transgender healthcare shield law in the state. Now 11 states and the District of Columbia have either an executive order or legislation protecting access to gender-affirming care in their state. (New York state has also passed a similar bill, now on its way to the governor.)
▸▸ Local Level Updates
- Tucker, Georgia, enacted a comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinance covering both sexual orientation and gender identity for employment, housing, and public accommodations.
- Waterloo, Iowa, banned conversion “therapy.” It is the third municipality in the state to do so.
▸▸ MAP’s LGBTQ Equality Bill Tracker
To continue highlighting trends across the country, included below are our current bill tracking counts for LGBTQ-related bills in state legislatures.
Note that these counts may differ from other organizations or public counts for a variety of reasons, and this work is greatly facilitated by the leadership and work of other organizations including the Equality Federation and their member state groups.
As of June 12, 2023, the count of anti-LGBTQ bills so far in 2023 is:
- At least 735 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced across at least 47 states. (This is an increase of 20 bills since our May 2023 bill tracking report.)
- At least 150 anti-transgender medical care bans or related bills have been introduced across at least 37 states.
- At least 75 anti-transgender sports bans or related bills have been introduced across at least 31 states.
- At least 55 anti-drag bills have been introduced across at least 20 states.
▸▸ Declines in States’ LGBTQ Equality Tally Categorizations
Note: these ranking declines reflect the actions of state lawmakers and are in no way a reflection on the organizations and individuals advocating for LGBTQ equality in each of these states.
Overall LGBTQ Tally
- North Dakota now has a “Low” rank on our Overall Tally, following its new bathroom ban and forced outing laws.
- Florida now has a “Negative” rank, following its slate of new anti-LGBTQ laws enacted.
- Missouri now has a “Negative” rank, following its medical care ban and sports ban for transgender youth.
- Montana now has a “Negative” rank, following its drag restriction.
- Texas now has a “Negative” rank, following its medical care ban for transgender kids.
Gender Identity Tally
- Florida now has a “Negative” rank on our Gender Identity Tally, following its religious exemption for medical providers.
- North Dakota now has a “Negative” rank, following its sex definition law (and the multiple other anti-transgender laws enacted this year).
Sexual Orientation Tally