Home / Articles / Sixteen laws restricting the LGBTQ community passed in 2022

Fourteen states passed new laws impacting the LGBTQ community in 2022. At least 12 states passed laws restricting access to healthcare or public facilities, or discussion of gender issues in schools or workplaces. Three states expanded protections for people in the LGBTQ community.

Here is a snapshot of new legislation regarding LGBTQ restrictions:

Restrictions on gender-affirming care of transgender children

At least two states passed laws in 2022 preventing transgender children from receiving gender-affirming care. Alabama and Arizona define gender-affirming care differently. Both states prevent transgender children from receiving puberty blockers or gender-affirming surgery. Alabama prevents hormone therapy for transgender children, but Arizona allows it. Arizona’s law, while signed in 2022, is effective starting in 2023.

Restrictions on use of public facilities based on gender identity

Alabama and Oklahoma both passed laws requiring public facilities such as restrooms to be used according to a person’s sex, and not their gender. North Carolina passed a similar law in 2016, which was then reversed in 2017.

Restrictions on schools teaching about gender or sexual orientation

Alabama, Florida, and South Dakota each passed laws prohibiting teachers and schools from instructing some students about issues of gender or sexuality. Florida was the first state of the three to pass such legislation. The law prohibits teaching issues of gender or sexuality to children where it’s “developmentally inappropriate.” Schools violating the law are subject to lawsuits from parents and can be subject to financial penalties, including attorney fees.

The laws in Alabama and South Dakota are similar to the Florida law but have some key differences. For example, the South Dakota legislation applies to colleges, universities, and professional training. While Florida’s law focuses on kindergarten through third grade, Alabama’s law also applies to fourth and fifth graders. Both Florida's and Alabama’s laws also include language saying instruction related to sexual orientation or gender identity must be age appropriate and developmentally appropriate.

Restrictions on transgender students participating in youth sports

At least eight states passed laws in 2022 prohibiting student athletes from participating in youth sports for a team of the opposite sex. Six of the eight states apply the law to kindergarten through 12th grades and higher education as well. Kentucky’s law limits it to sixth through 12th grade and higher education. Tennessee’s law expanded on a 2021 law to include sports participation in higher education and revokes state funding from schools that do not comply with the law.

Expanding rights for transgender/LGBTQ Americans

In 2022, Idaho revoked a long-standing law prohibiting sodomy in the state. Similar laws were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case.

Maryland passed a new law expanding school non-discrimination laws. Schools cannot discriminate against students based on their gender identity. The law also expands non-discrimination rules to private schools that accept state funding.

Vermont passed a law allowing individuals to amend their birth certificates to reflect their gender identities.

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Review of recently passed laws by state legislatures
Last updated
June 2022