Here’s why we fight so hard to elect pro-choice LGBTQ+ elected officials: they continue to fight for equality and the right to choose even when the path to success is difficult. LGBTQ+ Victory Institute alumni are fighting everyday to pass legislation that ensures equality, the right to gender-affirming health care and bodily autonomy.
In Nebraska, state Senators Megan Hunt and John Fredrickson filibustered a bill that would ban gender-affirming care and pass a restrictive abortion ban. Despite an intense filibuster that lasted several weeks, bigots found a way to pass both bills. The work that state Senators Hunt and Fredrickson did was the perfect example of why it’s so important to elect leaders that will fight consistently for our rights – even if the fight isn’t won. Having their voices in the chamber mattered, and we know they’ll keep fighting back.
In Pennsylvania, The Fairness Act was first introduced 22 years ago. And in May 2023, led by LGBTQ+ elected officials Malcolm Kenyatta, Jessica Benham, La’Tasha D. Mayes and Izzy Smith Wade-El, this bill passed the PA House for the first time. This bill would ensure LGBTQ+ people are legally protected from discrimination in Pennsylvania. The passage would have been impossible without LGBTQ+ leaders fighting for pro-equality legislation. Although there is an anti-equality majority in the state Senate, the ongoing push for equality is a strong step in the right direction.
Another anti-trans bill was vetoed – this time in Arizona by Governor Katie Hobbs. Governor Hobbs highlighted that this bill was intended to harm trans kids, not support parental rights. In many states this year there have been similar attacks on trans children. LGBTQ+ elected officials in the state heralded the veto, noting “Arizona’s youth shouldn’t have to live in fear.”
Minnesota became a trans refuge state when Governor Tim Walz signed the bill into law in April. Minnesota joins Illinois, New Mexico, Maryland and Colorado as states that have passed legislation to protect LGBTQ+ rights. This comes at a time when states like Nebraska, Iowa and North and South Dakota are taking steps to ban gender-affirming health care for trans kids.
Before the Minnesota trans refuge bill was signed into law by Governor Tim Walz, the bill was authored and assisted through the legislature by state Representative Leigh Finke, who was the first out trans legislator elected to the Minnesota House. LGBTQ+ elected officials are making waves in each elective body they work in and we’re so proud of the commitment they’ve shown in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality.
LGBTQ+ Victory Institute alumni are fighting everyday to pass legislation that ensures equality. Gender-affirming care, trans rights and pro-equality bills save lives. Learn more about our LGBTQ+ elected officials here!