The US state of North Dakota has broken the record for the most anti-LGBTQ+ bills passed in a single day in modern American history, with the majority impacting transgender people.
Last week, the North Dakota Senate approved ten bills – described as “a slate of hate” – targeting the rights of LGBTQ+ North Dakotans.
The bills include measures to make it more difficult for transgender people to change their gender markers and to ban trans school children and trans college students from playing sports consistent with their gender identity.
A declaration criminalising gender-affirming care for transgender youth was also passed.
The legislations further seek to prohibit trans people from using bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity in certain state facilities and to penalise schools for using pronouns accommodating the needs of trans students.
Cathryn Oakley, State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), said the lawmakers’ approval of the bills was “shameful”.
“These 10 bills – the most anti-LGBTQ+ bills to pass a single legislative chamber in one day in modern history – have the sole aim of pushing LGBTQ+ people back into the closet,” said Oakley.
The organisation urged the Governor of North Dakota, Doug Burgum, to reject the bills if and when they are sent to his desk for his signature.
The HRC says it has been tracking hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in US state legislatures this year alone.
More than 110 bills aim to prevent trans youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care (nine have already become law in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Iowa, Georgia, Kentucky and now West Virginia).
More than 25 bills seek to limit or ban access by transgender people to bathrooms consistent with their gender identity, while 110 bills would censor children from learning or reading age-appropriate LGBTQ-affirming information or books in schools.
Amidst a recent wave of “drag panic”, 40 bills also seek to restrict or bar drag performances in public, especially to those under 18.