The HIV epidemic continues to disproportionately affect gay and bisexual men, transgender women, youth, and communities of color. Meanwhile, bills seeking to criminalize HIV are based on misinformation rather than accurate science about the transmission of HIV. These laws ignore modern medical knowledge, carrying harsh penalties such as 35-year prison terms and registration as a sex offender for behaviors now known to carry no risk of transmission. These bills create a strong disincentive for individuals to find out their HIV status and disproportionately target LGBTQ+ people. In addition to criminalization bills, we also monitor needle exchange, forced testing, and prevention via comprehensive sex ed bills in every state.
We monitor and track important federal legislation, court cases, rule changes, and ballot measures when LGBTQ+ lives will be affected. Learn more about the moments we’re monitoring.
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court has made one thing clear: no one should be turned away from a taxpayer-funded program because of who they are,” said Fran Hutchins, Equality Federation Executive Director. “While the Court ruled in favor of Catholic Social Services, they did so on the narrowest possible ground. Governments are still able to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ foster and adoptive parents and must continue to do so for the over 400,000 children currently in foster care.”
The Equality Act would update existing federal civil rights law to include sexual orientation and gender identity as unlawful grounds for discrimination along with race, color, religion, sex and national origin. It would send a powerful message of inclusion that everyone should have the freedom and opportunity to work hard, earn a living, provide for their families and contribute to communities. We must do everything possible to pass these protections as soon as we can. The path is not easy. It will require hard work and engaging in good faith dialogue with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as well as concessions on both sides to reach bipartisan consensus.
With your support, we'll be able to continue our work to build the leaders of today and tomorrow, strengthen state-based LGBTQ+ organizations, and make critical progress on the issues that matter most—like protecting transgender people, ending HIV criminalization and ensuring access to care, and banning conversion therapy across the country.