2016 was both the best and the worst year for LGBT rights. On one hand, the country elected Donald Trump, who’s been installing an anti-LGBT cabinet. On the other hand, more than 500 pro-LGBT bills were introduced to Congress.
Let’s take a look at the good and the bad with help from Mother Jones.
Massachusetts strengthened their nondiscrimination laws in order to allow transgender people to use the bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their gender identity.
Governors in four states – Montana, Louisiana, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania – signed executive orders in order to protect LGBT state employees.
In the wake of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting, twice as many hate crime laws were proposed in 2016 as in 2015.
In Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan and Pennsylvania, it is now illegal for healthcare insurers to refuse to insure transgender patients.
Six states passed bills to prevent suicide, especially in children and teenagers, and to prevent harassment in schools.
Vermont and New York joined the small but growing list of states that outlaw conversion therapy.
North Carolina, North Carolina, North Carolina. The House Bill 2 (HB-2) struck down antidiscrimination protections for LGBT employees and, most infamously, demanded that transgender people use the bathrooms that correspond to their biological sex.
Despite the public opposition to the bill and the fact that the governor who pushed the bill through has been swiftly booted out of office, 14 other states have propped up their own bathroom bills. The list includes even blue states such as New York and Washington. Track the progress of those bills here.
252 anti-LGBT laws were proposed in 2016. Thankfully, only 8 of them passed.
What’s Left to Be Done?
In eight states, teachers aren’t allowed to mention anything related to LGBT issues.
In nineteen states, transgender people are ineligible for Medicaid.
In more than two dozen states, LGBT people are not protected by antidiscrimination legislation in housing, employment, education and public accommodation.
To learn more, read the Human Rights Campaign’s review of state LGBT legislation.