Gender Rights Research

Laws are one good measure of how citizens are treated. Starting February 14, 2021, we are tracking federal and state bills in the United States in order to observe trends in legislation and to investigate novel ways for understanding how people in the United States strive to accept those who express their gender creatively.


226 Gender Bills

Federal bills in the U.S. Congress:

4 stopping transgender rights
2 could have unexpected results
19 for transgender rights


Bills underway in the States:

51 bills stopping transgender rights
21 could have unexpected results
129 bills for transgender rights


On February 14, 2021, we began downloading data from LegiScan every week on Sundays. Hover over States to see the gender legislation that is underway


Data by State






What We Are Learning

August 2021

International Olympic Committee (IOC) Will Reconsider Guidelines for Allowing Trans Athletes to Compete

July 2021

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender Republican candidate participating in the recall of the governor of California, announced that she opposed "biological boys who are trans (transgender) competing in girls' sports in school." Ironically, Jenner won an Olymipic gold medal in 1976 for the men's decathlon when competing as Bruce Jenner.

As of July 1, the Louisana Fairness in Womens Sports Acts (HB542/SB156) has been vetoed by the Governor of Louisanna

California SR40 applies Title IX to everyone regardless of gender expression

June 2021

Justices of the Ninth Circuit U. S. Court of Appeals reviewed the constitutionality of Idaho's Fairness in Women’s Sports Act on Monday, May 3, 2021 in Pasadena, California. The case being reviewed is called Lindsay Hecox v. Bradley Little. Lindsay Hecox is a transgender woman and an athlete and Bradley Little is the Governor of Idaho. The law being reviewed is Idaho Code §§ 33-6201 through -6206, which excludes transgender women from participating on women’s sports teams. The case number is 20-35813.

On June 24, 2021, Hecox v. Little was remanded to the district court to for the limited purpose of determining whether Ms. Hecox's claim is moot because she has withdrawn from the University.

LGBTQ+ Pride Month


The State of California legislature proposed recognizing June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month. The text of bills CA SR39 and CA AR51 is re-printed here:

WHEREAS, Our great state and nation strives to promote the principles of equality and justice and the inalienable rights of all people to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and

WHEREAS, California’s and America’s diversity is one of our greatest strengths; and

WHEREAS, To achieve a more just and fair society, we must teach our children to respect one another, to appreciate our differences, and to recognize the common good in all of us; and

WHEREAS, Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people come from all walks of life, regardless of race, ethnicity, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, economic status, physical or mental ability, medical condition, sex, or gender identity or expression; and

WHEREAS, More lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are being elected to public offices across the country, playing in professional sports leagues, occupying the highest positions in business and government, and serving as role models for all; and

WHEREAS, Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people have made important and lasting contributions to our great state and nation in every field of endeavor, including, but not limited to, business, medicine, law, humanities, science, literature, politics, education, music, philanthropy, sports and athletics, arts, and culture, that enrich our national life; and

WHEREAS, In 2012, for the first time in the history of the United States, a sitting President, former President Barack Obama, affirmed support for the fundamental right to marry, regardless of sexual orientation or gender; and

WHEREAS, The Supreme Court of the United States struck down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, affirming that all loving and committed couples who are married deserve equal treatment and respect; and

WHEREAS, The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Proposition 8 sponsors had no standing to appeal the federal trial court’s decision that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, thereby restoring marriage equality in California; and

WHEREAS, The Supreme Court of the United States has found a constitutional basis for marriage equality, granting millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals across the country the ability to marry people whom they love; and

WHEREAS, Married same-sex couples now enjoy the same rights and privileges granted to other married couples, including joint tax filings, military benefits, family and medical leave, and the ability to sponsor a foreign spouse; and

WHEREAS, The transgender community in particular, has gained newfound prominence in the media, entertainment, sports, and business, raising awareness about gender identity and the obstacles this community continues to face; and

WHEREAS, The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity; and

WHEREAS, While our great state and nation have progressed in our journey toward dignity, understanding, and mutual respect for all, we still have a long way to go in eradicating the prejudice and discrimination that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people and their families encounter, and to this end, we continue working for the passage of the federal Equality Act, comprehensive immigration reform, and increased awareness of the difficulties facing the transgender community; and

WHEREAS, Friends and allies of the LGBTQ+ community have shown considerable support and commitment to the struggles of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people at home and abroad; and

WHEREAS, To build a stronger and better state and nation, we must continue to help advance the cause of equality for all people; and

WHEREAS, Each year, June marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion that gave birth to the modern lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer civil rights movement; and

WHEREAS, The first New York City Pride Rally occurred one month after the Stonewall Riots in June 1969, when 500 people gathered for a “Gay Power” demonstration in Washington Square Park, followed by a candlelight vigil in Sheridan Square; and

WHEREAS, On the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the NYC Pride organization simultaneously hosted “WorldPride” during its 2019 season. This was the first WorldPride celebration hosted on United States soil, and the second North American WorldPride in the event’s over 20 year history; and

WHEREAS, June 2019, marked the first annual proclamation of the month as LGBTQ+ Pride Month by the Governor of California; and

WHEREAS, Pride celebrations are being cancelled across the world due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and shelter-in-place directives; and

WHEREAS, Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Americans, their families and friends, and all those committed to justice and equality celebrate, during the month of June, the rich culture, the notable achievements, and the outstanding services that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Americans make to our great state and nation; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, That the Senate proclaims June 2021 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month, urges all Californians to join in celebrating the culture, accomplishments, and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people, and encourages the people of California to work to help advance the cause of equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people, and their families; and be it further

Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the Members of the Legislature and to the author for appropriate distribution.


May 2021

States Banning Transgender Athletes

Justices of the Ninth Circuit U. S. Court of Appeals reviewed the constitutionality of Idaho's Fairness in Women’s Sports Act on Monday, May 3, 2021 in Pasadena, California. The case being reviewed is called Lindsay Hecox v. Bradley Little. Lindsay Hecox is a transgender woman and an athlete and Bradley Little is the Governor of Idaho. The law being reviewed is Idaho Code §§ 33-6201 through -6206, which excludes transgender women from participating on women’s sports teams. The case number is 20-35813.

On June 24, 2021, Hecox v. Little was remanded to the district court to for the limited purpose of determining whether Ms. Hecox's claim is moot because she has withdrawn from the University.

Here's an article addressing the politics behind bills banning transgender women from competing in women's sports. Here's an NPR article discussing the constitutional rights of transgender athletes in the USA. To present both sides of the argument, here's a website supporting bans on transgender athletes.

"Gender sports" was added as a new search term on May 9, 2021 in order to obtain more bills relevant to gender research. Interestingly, one would expect a search of "gender" to include "gender sports" but in several tests, the Legiscan API requires separate searches.

April 2021

On April 4, 2021, we discovered better accuracy using two search terms: "gender" and "transgender"

March 2021

March 31 proclaimed Transgender Day of Visibility as US Congress passed US HCR26, Rhode Island passed resolution S07050, Wisconsin passed SJR18, and New York passed K00221

Beginning March 1, 2021 Arizona, New Jersey, and Texas are discussing setting up task forces to study the legal and social barriers to equality for transgender people

February 2021

An anti-transgender shelter rule was stopped

New York repeals a walking while trans law

January 2021

California Assembly Bill 218 was introduced to allow change of gender identifier on birth certificates and marriage licenses. This bill passed and will take affect on January 1, 2023.

A new effort to ban cosmetic genital surgery on children was launched in California Legislature

President Biden signed an Executive Order enabling all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform

Court upholds Twitter ban for users who misgender or deadname transpeople (Murphy v. Twitter Case Brief)

November 2020

IBM apologizes for firing a transgender pioneer, 52 years late