Legislatures in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, passed new laws decried by LGBTQ+ communities and their allies. Still, the month of June brought exuberant Pride celebrations around the region.
In the first half of 2023, statehouses across the Midwest were once again battlegrounds over legislation directly affecting LGBTQ+ communities.
Nebraska passed a law banning transgender youth from receiving gender-affirming healthcare. So did Iowa and Missouri. After failing to pass in 2022, a ban on transgender students participating in school sports made it to the Missouri governor’s desk in 2023.
The Kansas governor vetoed two measures aimed at transgender people: One would have put in place a definition for biological sex. The other would have penalized doctors who perform gender reassignment surgery on minors.
On July 1, a new Kansas law defining an individual’s gender based on their biological sex assigned at birth goes into effect.
And yet, Pride Month events and celebrations seemed as popular and enthusiastic as ever.