The advocacy group Human Rights Campaign declared a state of emergency for “LGBTQ+ Americans” on Tuesday, arguing that an increasingly adversarial legislative climate had put the lives of those in the community in danger.
Citing “an unprecedented and dangerous spike in anti-LGBTQ+ legislative assaults sweeping state houses this year,” the group’s president, Kelley Robinson, insisted laws such as Florida’s “don’t say gay” bill – officially titled the Parental Rights in Education Act – amounted to “real, tangible and dangerous” threats against the lives of sexual and gender minorities.
“In many cases they are resulting in violence against LGBTQ+ people, forcing families to uproot their lives and flee their homes in search of safer states, and triggering a tidal wave of increased homophobia and transphobia that puts the safety of each and every one of us at risk,” she said in a statement accompanying HRC’s first-ever emergency declaration.
In a pamphlet titled ‘LGBTQ+ Americans Fight Back: A Guidebook for Action’, the group urges concerned readers to get involved in their local school boards and political scene to push back at recently passed legislation restricting sex education of young children, drag performances directed at kids, and gender-affirming medical procedures for minors, among other initiatives.
The guide even recommends readers practice “setting the record straight” about gender-affirming healthcare, trans kids in sports, and other hot-button issues by drilling talking points with a ChatGPT knockoff on its website. However, it concludes with a reassurance that “the American people are on our side” already, suggesting it’s merely a handful of conservative politicians and parents dominating school boards who are the problem.
HRC exerts influence by rating companies on their LGBT-friendliness via its Corporate Equality Index, which for over a decade has assigned numerical scores similar to the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics now ubiquitous in the modern liberal boardroom. The group has expanded its sights to include states and even municipalities, listing both a State Equality Index and a Municipality Equality Index in its guidebook.
The indexes weigh laws and regulations governing topics from same-sex adoptions to school athletics policies, the availability of trans-related healthcare for children and adults, and the promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, including a color-coded chart so LGBT people leaving deep-red Florida or Texas can make an educated decision on where to move.
HRC last month followed in the footsteps of black advocacy group NAACP in advising its members against travel to Florida. The group formerly known as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People had cited the removal of an Advanced Placement African American Studies class from the public school curriculum as one of several signs the state had become hostile and dangerous to black people.