WASHINGTON — As the country celebrates Pride Month, the DLCC is highlighting the nearly 200 openly LGBTQ+ Democratic legislators – an over 15% increase from last year – and the work our state Democrats are doing to pass policies that uplift these communities and advance LGBTQ+ rights. At a time when the GOP is mounting historic attacks on LGBTQ+ Americans in the states, especially the transgender community, Democratic majorities and a historic number of LGBTQ+ lawmakers are fighting back to defend fundamental rights.
“We are proud to stand with our LGBTQ+ neighbors and honor the sacrifices made by generations of activists, leaders, and lawmakers who fought to make this nation a better place for their communities,” said DLCC interim President Heather Williams. “In every corner of the country, state Democrats are protecting the rights of millions of Americans while Republican lawmakers continue to threaten countless LGBTQ+ lives by advancing their extremist agenda. The GOP is showing no signs of slowing down their attacks, and state Democrats will continue to stand up against the Republican Party’s heartless, bigoted agenda.”
- According to DLCC stats, of the over 210 openly LGBTQ+ state legislators:
- Nearly 200 are Democrats (over 6% of Democratic legislators nationwide)
- 21 legislators, or nearly 10%, identify as transgender, non-binary, or gender non-conforming.
- Over 80, or nearly 40%, identify as BIPOC
- A record number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced during the 2023 state legislative calendar. As of May 2023, the ACLU has tracked nearly 500 bills, many of them specifically targeting the transgender community.
- GOP legislators have focused their efforts on attacking trans kids, passing laws to ban children from playing on sports teams, make it illegal for doctors to provide, often lifesaving, gender-affirming care, and bar them from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity.
- In Virginia’s divided legislature, the Democratic-led Senate is killing anti-LGBTQ+ House Republican bills targeting transgender athletes, students, and minors.
- Senate Democrats killed a Republican House sports ban bill.
- Senate Democrats killed a Republican House bill that would force schools to out students if they identify as a gender different from their sex at birth.
- Senate Democrats killed a Republican Senate bill that would ban gender transition procedures for minors.
- In Democratic-led legislatures, lawmakers are working on efforts to not only keep their vulnerable populations safe and protected but also to make their states safe havens for others, passing laws to shield out-of-state patients from facing repercussions for traveling to receive care, ensure doctors have protections so they can provide care, and codify LGBTQ+ protections into law.
- Michigan and Minnesota’s new Democratic trifectas are working to expand LGBTQ+ rights and protections, including adding protections for sexual orientation and gender identity into the Civil Rights Act, hate crime protections, and banning conversion therapy for minors.
The DLCC is the official Democratic Party committee dedicated to winning America’s state legislatures. Last year, the DLCC defied the odds by not losing any state legislative majorities, flipping four key chambers, and creating four new Democratic trifectas – the best midterm year for the party in power since at least 1934. State legislatures are the building blocks of our democracy and pass the policies that have the biggest impact on Americans’ day-to-day lives.