All around the country this month, thousands of LGBT people and their supporters will rally in the streets and celebrate “Pride Month.” Yet at the very same time, an alarmist activist organization just declared its first-ever “national emergency,” suggesting that LGBT people are facing unique peril.
That’s right: The so-called Human Rights Campaign, a gay and transgender rights organization, issued the first “emergency” declaration in its four-decade history on Tuesday.
For the first time ever, we're declaring a national state of emergency as LGBTQ+ Americans face extremist attempts to roll back our rights. It's more important than ever we have the necessary resources to stay safe no matter where we are. https://t.co/EcnZgqDDCp pic.twitter.com/q0axEWCM1N
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) June 6, 2023
“We have officially declared a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people in the United States for the first time following an unprecedented and dangerous spike in anti-LGBTQ+ legislative assaults sweeping state houses this year,” its statements reads. “More than 75 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been signed into law this year alone, more than doubling last year’s number, which was previously the worst year on record. Our community is in danger, but we won’t stop fighting back — not now, not ever.”
On the surface, this sounds like scary stuff. Thankfully, it has little basis in reality.
Think for a moment about just how outlandish the claim being made here actually is. The Human Rights Campaign was founded in 1980. Back then, gay marriage was still a pipe dream. Heck, many states even still had anti-sodomy laws that criminalized homosexuality on the books. More crucially, starting in the early ’80s and throughout the next several decades, the HIV epidemic killed hundreds of thousands of gay and bisexual men while the government and society failed to address this crisis adequately. And yet the Human Rights Campaign is seriously suggesting that in 2023 the LGBT community is facing such dire threats that it requires a national emergency declaration never invoked in its entire history.
Give me a break. That’s absurd to the point of incredulity.
Consider what these activists are actually worked up about. The “anti-LGBTQ+” bills they’re up in arms about include things such as legislation protecting fairness in sports by preventing transgender women, who are biologically male, from competing in women’s sports. That seems like common sense to me and even to some prominent transgender people, such as my friend Blaire White. But even if one does oppose such legislation, it affects only transgender athletes, a vanishingly small population, and affects sports participation; it isn’t exactly a matter of life and death.
The other main category of bill they object to is legislation restricting the ability for minors to receive medical gender transition treatments. This is a hotly contested and emotionally charged issue, with proponents of underage medical transition viewing it as necessary to avoid tragedies such as suicide and opponents viewing it as a form of child mutilation foisted upon minors unable to consent.
Yet many previous generations of transgender people waited until 18 years old and then transitioned and now live happy and well-adjusted lives. In fact, the entire practice of medically transitioning minors only became widespread in the United States very recently. (And it has just been restricted in Norway.)
Many blue states will certainly keep this practice lawful, so, at most, parents need to relocate or bring their children across state lines to receive this kind of treatment. While it’s admittedly a consequential debate, it’s just hard to see how the passage of these bills in some red states really constitutes an unprecedented “national emergency.”
So, if it’s not reality, what’s really motivating this alarmism?
It’s simple: Follow the money. The Human Rights Campaign rose to great wealth and prominence through its gay rights activism. But its central goals, the legalization of gay marriage and widespread acceptance for gay people, were achieved almost a decade ago. In order to keep its multimillion-dollar budget bursting at its seams and maintain its elite status — the Human Rights Campaign regularly hobnobs with A-list celebrities — it must invent new things for its donors to be afraid of.
That’s how you end up with the absurd spectacle of a supposedly serious gay rights organization actually claiming that 2023 is worse than 1985 for LGBT people. It’s a shame that for the activists at the Human Rights Campaign, their own self-interest is worth needlessly scaring their constituents and deceiving their donors.