Amid increasing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) has taken the unprecedented decision to declare a national state of emergency for all LGBTQ+ people in the US.
Founded in 1980, the HRC is the largest and most effective mainstream advocacy organisation for LGBTQ+ rights in the US. Despite having operated throughout the AIDS crisis, this is the first time in the organisation’s history that it has made such a stark declaration.
In the statement issued on Tuesday, June 6, the organisation said, “We have officially declared a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people in the United States for the first time following an unprecedented and dangerous spike in anti-LGBTQ+ legislative assaults sweeping state houses this year.”
It continued, “More than 75 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been signed into law this year alone, more than doubling last year’s number, which was previously the worst year on record.
“Our community is in danger, but we won’t stop fighting back — not now, not ever.”
Taking to Twitter to announce the state of emergency, HRC President Kelley Robinson wrote, “The threats facing millions in our community are real, dangerous, and resulting in violence. Families are uprooting their lives in search of safer states.”
She continued, “Increased homophobia and transphobia puts the safety of each and every one of us at risk. #HRC is working to educate and arm the #LGBTQ+ community with resources to ensure their safety, whether they’re traveling or living in hostile regions.”
1/6: LGBTQ+ Americans are in a state of emergency. The threats facing millions in our community are real, dangerous, and resulting in violence. Families are uprooting their lives in search of safer states. #LGBTQ #PrideMonth
— Kelley Robinson (@KelleyJRobinson) June 6, 2023
Appealing to wider society, Robinson called on allies to show solidarity: “Allies across the country must stand with us and make it clear that they won’t sit idly by while extremists attack and malign LGBTQ+ people and our families. Together, we can ensure that LGBTQ+ people are safe and protected.”
She concluded, “As we kick off LGBTQ+ Pride Month, let’s remember that the fight for equality and safety is ongoing. HRC will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that every LGBTQ+ person can live with dignity, respect, and safety.”
As well as issuing the declaration, the organisation has published a downloadable guidebook. It includes information on health and safety, a summary of state-by-state laws, and advice for LGBTQ+ travellers.
In a report published by the HRC on Monday, June 5, it highlighted that since the start of the current legislative session, 525 bills have been introduced in various states attacking the LGBTQ+ community. Furthermore, 220 of the new laws specifically target the trans community.
The report also directly attributes the climate as being “fueled by an antiLGBTQ+ Republican establishment — and coordinated, well-funded extremist groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom, Heritage Foundation and the Family Policy Alliance”.
@HRC, the largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization in the United States, has declared a national state of emergency over the wave of discriminatory laws passed in statehouses across the country. “There is an imminent health and safety crisis,” says @HRC_President Kelley Robinson. pic.twitter.com/UWEDmvFRz5
— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) June 7, 2023
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