It points to North Carolina as an example of what economic and political consequences such legislation as House Bill 2 can have and examines whether other states will take heed.
There were more than 200 bills filed in 2016 restricting the rights of LGBTQ individuals and their families, up from the 150 introduced in 2015, according to the report.
Although there was only a 2 percent passage rate for the legislation filed last year, the HRC states the shear uptick in numbers and associated rhetoric is most concerning, and that 2017 is shaping up to potentially be more challenging.
With at least 40 anti-LGBTQ bills in 16 states introduced so far, HRC anticipates that, as in 2016, anti-equality activists will push for legislation giving a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people under the guise of religion; measures specifically targeting transgender people; and proposals to eliminate local LGBTQ non-discrimination protections, among others. The new analysis also highlights opportunities to advance LGBTQ equality in 2017.
“Lawmakers seeking to target LGBTQ people would do well to heed the lessons learned in North Carolina, where legislators are still working to repeal HB2 and undo the damage wrought by that hateful law,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Like last year, we will be working closely with state partners across the country to prevent lawmakers from plowing down a destructive path that threatens LGBTQ people and wrecks a state’s economy and reputation. It’s time to recognize that Americans have moved inexorably in the direction of equality and there is no appetite for anti-LGBTQ politicking.”