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The Current Wave of Anti-LGBT Legislation: Historical Context and Implications for LGBT Health

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The Current Wave of Anti-LGBT Legislation: Historical Context and Implications for LGBT Health

Since 2015, state lawmakers have introduced over 175 anti-LGBT bills including legislation that: repeals local nondiscrimination laws, allows religious people and organizations to refuse to provide services and goods to LGBT people, and prevents transgender people from accessing restroom facilities based on their gender identity. So called "religious exemption bills" prevent access to health care for LGBT people; thereby exacerbating anti-LGBT discrimination in health care and increasing LGBT health disparities. This publication explains the historical context, constitutionality, and health related consequences of religious exemption bills.

Learning Objectives:
After viewing this video, the learner will be able to:

  • Explain the historical context of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
  • Differentiate between religious freedom laws that protect religious communities from infringements on their rights, and those that are used to discriminate against a minority.
  • Explain the health related consequences for LGBT people in states that pass religious exemption bills.

Timothy Wang, MPH
Health Policy Analyst
Fenway Institute

Sophia Geffen
Project Manager of HIV Prevention Research
Fenway Institute

Sean Cahill, PhD
Director of Health Policy Research
Fenway Institute

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