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Likely Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, encouraged and signed into law a bill that severely curtails teachers from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity in schools.

Copycat “Don’t Say Gay” bills sprung up around the country, including Republicans in Congress who introduced a similar bill in the U.S. House.

This was part of a nationwide barrage of anti-LGBT legislation and governors’ directives. DeSantis took another dramatic step in December, bypassing the Republican-controlled legislature to issue an order to block transition medical care for transgender minors.

In May, the Texas Supreme Court upheld the governor’s order to direct child welfare workers to report any instances of gender-confirming health care for children. Arizona passed a bill to prohibit transition surgery for young people and to ban transgender girls from participating in girls’ sports. Alabama passed a bill to make it a felony to offer gender-affirming health care to transgender people under the age of 19. Other states followed suit, filing similar legislation, much of which is now pending for the 2023 session. 

Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson told a U.S. House hearing in December that the “onslaught“ of anti-LGBT bills in 2022 totaled at least 344 bills in 23 states.

“More than 25 of these bills were ultimately enacted across 13 states — 17 of which have a disproportionate or targeted impact on transgender people."

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