MAP Report Series

What We’re Tracking: the Clear Coordination of Opponents’ Efforts to Erase LGBTQ People from Public Life

Movement Advancement Project
4 min readNov 14, 2023

This year has been unprecedented and difficult for LGBTQ people, their families, and their allies. Throughout 2023, we at MAP have been tracking opponents’ tactics — all going back to their broader goal of erasing LGBTQ people from the fabric of society.

We released a six-part report series to bring together what may feel like disparate one-off efforts to roll back protections or pass a harmful law, but are really part of a coordinated, strategic effort on the part of our opponents.

These reports offer hard-hitting examinations of what we’re up against, with rigorous research, maps and visuals, and real-life, personal stories. We hope this series is useful to you in having a clearer sense of what we’re up against, but also of how we need to work together, across movements, to ensure that LGBTQ people can thrive in communities across the country.

Report #1: "The War on LGBTQ People in America

This overview report provides a comprehensive yet concise look at the many forms of anti-LGBTQ political attacks today, such as mass censorship efforts to erase LGBTQ youth and content from schools; criminalizing medical care and transition for transgender people; a vicious, public narrative that falsely demonizes LGBTQ people as “groomers”; and government tactics that silence, financially penalize, and even criminalize those who support equality for LGBTQ people.

Report #2: "Erasing LGBTQ People from Schools and Public Life

MAP’s second Under Fire report explores eight tactics opponents are using that jeopardize the ability of LGBTQ people, especially LGBTQ youth, to participate in public life and to go to school in a safe and inclusive environment. These include:

  • So-called “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” curriculum censorship and book bans
  • School policies preventing transgender youth from being themselves
  • Removing anti-bullying and harassment protections for LGBTQ students
  • Outlawing and even criminalizing supportive school environments
  • Rewarding and protecting anti-LGBTQ teachers
  • Pulling out of longstanding school survey efforts
  • Purging public libraries of LGBTQ and other inclusive materials
  • Restricting or banning drag shows

Report #3: "Erecting Systemic and Structural Barriers to Make Change Harder

Anti-LGBTQ opponents are working to change the rules and control our systems of government so that the cards are permanently stacked against those who would disagree with their vision for the country.

This third Under Fire report details opponents’ efforts towards this goal, which include: restricting the ability to vote, stacking the court system with a partisan takeover of the judiciary, blocking off avenues to direct democracy, and attempting to silence duly elected legislators who disagree publicly with anti-democratic tactics.

Report #4: "Enshrining Inequality for LGBTQ People

By rolling back existing protections and carving immense holes into existing laws, anti-LGBTQ opponents are working to make discrimination against LGBTQ people legal at every level of government.

In the fourth Under Fire report, MAP describes opponents’ four tactics — rolling back nondiscrimination protections, redefining sex, attacking LGBTQ families, and denying health care — which collectively aim to enshrine inequality for LGBTQ people.

Report #5: "Banning Medical Care and Legal Recognition for Transgender People

With dozens of states actively enacting new, anti-transgender laws in 2023 alone, MAP’s fifth Under Fire report explains how anti-LGBTQ extremists are actively pursuing — and too often accomplishing — their goal of banning medical care and legal recognition for transgender people.

Through five key tactics, opponents aim to make it impossible for transgender people to be themselves and to be legally recognized according to their gender identity. These efforts directly target both transgender youth and adults, as well as supporters of transgender people through criminalization and harassment.

Report #6: "Silencing Supporters of LGBTQ People

This report, the sixth and final in the Under Fire series, focuses on efforts to silence, sue, fine, and penalize parents, teachers, doctors, companies, and others who support LGBTQ people. Silencing supporters allows anti-LGBTQ opponents to promote the false idea that their extremist beliefs are widely held and that their discriminatory policies are well-supported.

In their effort to silence supporters, three tactics are being used: creating criminal and professional penalties for supporting LGBTQ people; attacking companies that support LGBTQ people and voice opposition to anti-LGBTQ policies; and stoking violence and harassment against people and institutions.

As outlined throughout MAP’s series, recent political attacks point to extremists’ organized effort of making impossible for LGBTQ people to live their lives authentically. It is critical that we see beyond individual bills or even categories of bills to recognize the rhetoric fueling them and the broader goals of anti-LGBTQ opponents.

MAP will continue to track these efforts through the LGBTQ Equality Maps. To view the full Under Fire series, click here or below to read more.



Movement Advancement Project

MAP is an independent, nonprofit think tank that provides rigorous research, insight and communications that help speed equality and opportunity for all.