Alabama’s laws affecting LGBTQ+ people reviewed in the annual index

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the education arm of the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, and the Equality Federation Institute released their 9th annual State Equality Index (SEI) on Thursday. The SEI is a comprehensive state report that provides an overview of statewide laws and policies affecting LGBTQ+ people and their families.

Alabama is one of 23 states falling into the Index’s lowest-ranked category, titled “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality.”

In a coordinated push led by national anti-LGBTQ+ groups, politicians introduced 315 discriminatory anti-LGBTQ+ laws and enacted 29 in state buildings across the country in 2022. Less than 10 percent of these efforts have been successful, and 24 equality laws have also been passed, ranging in topic from facilitating the updating of driver’s licenses and birth and death certificates with correct names and sex characteristics; ban insurance exclusions for transgender people in health care; to expand non-discrimination protection in the areas of housing, employment and education.

“As the 2022 State Equality Index shows, over the past year the recent dramatic explosion of laws targeting transgender people, particularly transgender youth, that exploit myths and misconceptions about what it means to be transgender has continued. Despite the increasing number of bills being submitted nationwide, local lawyers and activists have been able to push back most of this legislation,” said Fran Hutchins, executive director of the Equality Federation Institute. “We know that the mere introduction and discussion of these bills will continue to fuel anti-LGBTQ+ stigma across the country, leading to violence against our community. It’s more important than ever to focus our attention on protecting LGBTQ+ people in states where the work is hard but the impact is big.”

The past year has also seen the highest number of anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-transgender laws in recent history. In the closing hours of their term, Alabama lawmakers passed a sweeping bill that contained a slew of anti-LGBTQ+ measures, including laws criminalizing parents for providing gender-affirming care for their transgender children and transgender children’s use of bathrooms and lockers banned spaces consistent with their gender identity and censored classroom discussions on LGBTQ+ issues.

“The 2022 State Equality Index outlines how states across the country have fought back another record year of anti-LGBTQ+ legislative attacks. In the face of these attacks, lawmakers and advocates fought back, with fewer than 10 percent of discriminatory anti-LGBTQ+ laws being passed,” said JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president of policy and political affairs for the human rights campaign. “These bills are a terrible public order, and we are also deeply aware of how any harmful anti-LGBTQ+ law that is signed has a devastating impact on the lives and well-being of LGBTQ+ people, especially children. The legislative onslaught and hateful rhetoric directed at our community has also led to increased stigma, discrimination and ultimately suicide and deadly violence – particularly against the transgender community. As we continue our fight for LGBTQ+ equality, this report underscores that equality is the winning side of this issue.”

The majority of the bills – 149 bills – targeted the transgender and non-binary community, with the majority targeting children. Anti-transgender legislation took various forms, including 80 bills aimed at barring transgender youth from participating in school sports that conform to their gender identity and 42 bills to prevent transgender and non-binary sports Adolescents receive gender-affirming health care. By the end of the 2022 legislative session, a record 17 bills targeting transgender and non-binary children had been passed. 19 states ban transgender athletes from school sports and 5 states restrict access to gender-affirming health care.

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Although members of the transgender and non-binary communities were the main targets of discriminatory legislation, anti-LGBTQ+ laws also took other forms. One of the most notable trends has been a resurgence of curriculum censorship and “don’t say LGBTQ+” laws that turn back the clock and prevent teachers from discussing LGBTQ+ issues and other marginalized communities in their classrooms. Across the country, 70 curriculum censorship laws have been introduced and seven enacted.

The HRC Foundation’s full State Equality Index Report, including detailed scorecards for each state, and a preview of the 2023 legislature is available online at