Trans Legislation Tracker

2023 anti-trans legislation

600 bills

49 states

87 passed

177 active

323 failed

What happened with anti-trans legislation in 2023?

2023 marked the fourth consecutive record-breaking year for anti-trans legislation in the United States. In total, 600 bills escalated the attack on trans people across the country. This recap takes a look back at the year's themes, digs into the language of the bills, and provides an overview of what passed.

In just one month, the U.S. doubled the number of anti-trans bills being considered from the previous year. We saw familiar themes from recent years: attacks on gender-affirming care, education, athletics, birth certificates, legal recognition, religious discrimination, and other categories.

National legislation wave

We tracked 42 national anti-trans bills in the United States in 2023. This sweeping introduction of legislation at the federal level was unprecedented, seeking to impact access to healthcare, student athletics, the military, incarceration, and education.

The "Women's Bill of Rights" sought to erase trans recognition by the federal government, defining sex assigned at birth as an "immutable" definition of man or woman, boy or girl. The "My Child, My Choice Act" would have impose educational restrictions nationally that are similar to those we're tracking in states across the country.

5x increase in healthcare bills

The number of bills that would impact trans healthcare increased five fold in 2023. States like Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Carolina introduce bans on gender-affirming care that extend into adulthood—up to 26 years old. By the end of the year, 185 of these bills passed.

Bills targeting access to gender-affirming care by year.

Education & parental rights

In educational settings, bills like AZ SB1700 encouraged parents to report and ban books which "promote gender fluidity or gender pronouns." Others like AZ SB1001 required that both a guardian and teacher approve of a student's pronouns. Schools were the focus of bills seeking to exclude trans youth from gender identity education, sports, bathrooms, and more.

Performance

"Drag bans" made headlines in 2023, as legislation targeted gender non-conforming performances. Bills like AZ SB1026 used broad definitions like dressing "in clothing and makeup opposite of the performer's [...] gender at birth" and language like "drag show targeting minors" to insinuate harmful intent. And the definitions are often broad enough to include libraries hosting story hours, musicals, or even an acting troupe performing Shakespeare. Many of these bills targeted businesses that might host an event by redefining adult cabaret performance laws.

OK SB129

Felony charges for providing gender-affirming care to people under 26 years

1. A physician or other healthcare professional found to have knowingly referred for or provided gender transition procedures to an individual under twenty-six (26) years of age shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a felony.
B. 1. Any referral for or provision of gender transition procedures to an individual under twenty-six (26) years of age is unprofessional conduct and shall [...] result in immediate revocation of the license or certificate of the physician or other healthcare professional.
Healthcare

Arizona SB1001

Misgendering: guardians and teachers can override a student's pronouns

A. An employee [...] of a school district or charter school may not knowingly address, identify or refer to a student [...] by a pronoun that differs from the pronoun that aligns with the student's biological sex unless the school district or charter school receives written permission from the student's parent.
B. [Or] if doing so is contrary to the employee's or independent contractor's religious or moral convictions.
EducationPronouns

Wyoming SF0111

Child abuse charges for following the existing medical standards of

(d) A person is guilty of child abuse, a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than ten (10) years, if a person intentionally inflicts upon a child under the age of eighteen (18) years any procedure, drug, other agent or combination thereof that is administered to intentionally or knowingly change the sex of the child. Consent of the child, the child's parents, guardian or any other person responsible for the child's welfare shall not be a defense to the crime defined by this subsection.
HealthcareChild abuse

Arizona SB1698

Hosting drag shows would redefine venues as "adult-oriented" businesses

"Drag performance" means a performance: (A) In which one (1) or more performers: (i) Exhibits a gender identity that is different from the performer's gender assigned at birth using clothing, makeup, or other accessories that are traditionally worn by members of and are meant to exaggerate the gender identity of the performer's opposite sex; and (ii) Sings, lip-synchs, dances, or otherwise performs before an audience of at least two (2) persons for entertainment, whether performed for payment or not; and (B) That is intended to appeal to the prurient interest
DragPublic life

Arizona HB1700

Banning books in schools that validate concepts of gender or pronouns

2. A parent who objects to a book that is available to students in the school [...] may request that the [...] institution remove the book [...] because the parent finds the book to be lewd or sexual in nature, to promote gender fluidity or gender pronouns or to groom children into normalizing pedophilia shall submit the book … to the department of education
EducationBook Ban

What anti-trans bills passed in 2023?

87 anti-trans bills passed

In 2023, 87 anti-trans bills and were signed into law across 50 states. The bills impacted trans youth and adults across a wide range of settings, which we've grouped into a selection of categories:

EDUCATION (171)SPORTS (73)CIVIL RIGHTS (28)OTHER (45)BATHROOM (29)HEALTHCARE (185)PERFORMANCE (45)BIRTH CERTIFICATES (16)INCARCERATION (7)MILITARY (1)

25 states

AlabamaArkansasFloridaGeorgiaIowaIdahoIndianaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMissouriMississippiMontanaNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaNebraskaOhioOklahomaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahWisconsinWest VirginiaWyoming

13 vetoed

Of the bills that passed in 2023, 13 were vetoed and ultimately did not become law. These bills are not included in our passed bills count.

Trans Legislation Tracker impact

Trans Legislation Tracker data supported hundreds of national and international stories in 2023. Trans Legislation Tracker was frequently cited in publications including The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Le Monde, NPR, USA Today, and The Washington Post. We documented bills and generated data reports, driving reporting like the Axios piece titled The forces behind anti-trans bills across the U.S..

Beyond the news, our data had impact in mobilization and policy. It supported calls to action from groups like the American Medical Student Association. It provided insights for this policy brief on gender-affirming care from the American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Center For Health Justice. Trans Legislation Tracker data was also cited by Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA) and Senator Edward J. Markey (MA) in their re-introduction of the Transgender Bill of Rights.

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