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2023 is already a record year for anti-LGBTQ bills in the U.S.

A large transgender flag with signatures and messages during a protest of potential amendments to Spain's 'Trans Law' in Madrid, Spain, on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. Transgender rights organizations in Spain want people younger than 16 years old to be able to change their gender on their identity documents and the civil registry without the authorization of a judge.    (Manaure Quintero/Bloomberg)
By Ella Ceron Washington Post

State lawmakers in the U.S. have already introduced more anti-LGBTQ bills this year than in the past five years combined.

At least 385 anti-LGBTQ laws have been introduced at the state level in a majority of U.S. states as of March 3, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. By comparison, lawmakers introduced 162 anti-LGBTQ bills last year, 19 of which were signed into law. Between 2018 and 2022, state legislators introduced at least 361 anti-LGBTQ bills total.

Many of the bills target transgender people. Some are trying to block health care, while others limit access to bathrooms or the ability to join sports teams.

More recently, drag performances have come under fire from lawmakers. A recent bill passed in Tennessee restricts “adult cabaret performances,” including “male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest.” Seven anti-LGBTQ bills have been signed into law this year, including two each in Tennessee in and Utah. A record 19 laws passed last year.

Anti-LGBTQ hate crimes in the U.S. are also on the rise. The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, a nonprofit, counted nearly 200 anti-LGBTQ incidents last year, three times the amount reported in 2021. A December report by the Williams Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles’s School of Law, noted that around one in 10 incidents targeting LGBTQ people are hate crimes, and the group is nine times more likely then their heterosexual, cisgender peers to be the victim of a violent hate crime.

LGBTQ clubs and venues have beefed up security in recent months, particularly following the deadly shooting at Club Q in Colorado last November.