A protestor at an LGBTI solidarity event in front of Stonewall | Photo: Flickr/mathiaswasik
Within a single year, states introduced approximately 125 anti-LGBTI bills within the United States.
The American Psychological Association (APA) revealed this information and more at a briefing today (17 May) for International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBT).
APA co-hosted the briefing with the Fenway Institute and Center for American Progress at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.
The event is billed as Rolling Back Progress: How Shifts in Federal Policy are Hurting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Americans.
‘Recent federal policy initiatives — such as rollbacks of data collection, limitations around transgender military service, and expansion of religious refusal policies — reflect a broader shift in policy relating to sexual and gender minorities,’ the organizations said about their research.
Harmful policies in full force
Information presented reflects federal and state policies that affect the LGBTI community, or sexual and gender minorities (SGMs).
Here are some of the key findings from the research:
These policies affect LGBTI people in public spaces of their lives, such as school, the workplace, and more.
Both detrimental and positive effects
The briefing also discussed the effects policies can have on people’s health and wellbeing.
‘Research has shown that discriminatory policies are associated with increased stress levels, with harmful health outcomes,’ they stated.
States that don’t protect LGBTI employees from discrimination show increased levels of anxiety and PTSD for the community.
Before the federal legalization of marriage equality, states that banned same-sex marriage had LGBTI people experiencing a 248% increase in psychological and alcohol use disorders.
On the flip side, policies that protect and help LGBTI people have proven positive effects.
When officials legalized marriage equality — both in individual states and then at the federal level — there was a 7% decrease in adolscent suicide attempts.
Workplaces with LGBTI protections see improved health outcomes of LGBTI employees, as well as great job satisfaction, productivity, and commitment.
The APA tells both voters and legislators to support protective bills and oppose harmful policies.
They specifically recommend supporting the Equality Act, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, and the Student Nondiscrimination Act. They also say officials should advance the LGBT Data Inclusion Act.
Further, lawmakers should oppose the First Amendment Defense Act.