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The Human Rights Campaign has released a map of states where anti-LGBT legislation is expected to surface in 2017.

HRC today released a new report previewing battles against anti-LGBT state legislation expected in the year ahead.

Already in 2017, 40 anti-LGBT bills have been introduced across 16 states – and many more laws are expected across the year, seeking “license to discriminate against LGBTQ people under the guise of religion; measures specifically targeting transgender people; and proposals to eliminate local LGBTQ non-discrimination protections”.

The proposals range from measures specifically targeting transgender people’s bathroom rights to laws that enable people and businesses to refuse goods or services to LGBTQ people – while some bills seek to stop cities and local governments from protecting LGBT

In 2016, legislators in 38 states filed more than 250 bills aimed at discriminating against LGBT people, just 8 of which made it through legislatures, and only 5 of which made it into law.

However tougher battles are expected in 2017, with a greater number of states dominated by Republicans across the House, Senate, and Governor’s office, following November’s elections.

Concerns are greatest in southern states, with fears over anti-LGBT bills in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.

HRC President Chad Griffin said: “Lawmakers seeking to target LGBTQ people would do well to heed the lessons learned in North Carolina, where legislators are still working to repeal HB2 and undo the damage wrought by that hateful law.

“Like last year, we will be working closely with state partners across the country to prevent lawmakers from plowing down a destructive path that threatens LGBTQ people and wrecks a state’s economy and reputation. It’s time to recognize that Americans have moved inexorably in the direction of equality and there is no appetite for anti-LGBTQ politicking.”

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