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Scapegoating trans people is the latest rightwing tactic. What’s driving that decision?


LOS ANGELES, FEB 26TH, 2017: A religious protester promises “hell” to passers-by on the eve of the 89th Academy Award ceremony. Photo: Shutterstock The LGBTQ civil rights organization, Human Rights Campaign, has been tracking anti-LGBTQ state legislation for the past six years. Within this 2021 state legislative session, 82 anti-transgender bills have been filed throughout the country already surpassing the 79 bills submitted in 2020.

But what kind of political points could the political right hope to win by targeting trans people? What is their strategy? And why does the far-right continue to be vehemently anti-LGBTQ?

Responding to the record-breaking anti-trans legislation this year, Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said, “These bills are not addressing any real problem, and they’re not being requested by constituents. Rather, this effort is being driven by national far-right organizations attempting to score political points by sowing fear and hate.”

While there are several possible explanations, political scientist Matthew Moen argues in The Transformation of the Christian Right that the primary reason is that the far-right “didn’t have any more agenda items on their plate.”

Before the 1994 elections, in which Republicans gained control of both houses of Congress, they had been losing ground on issues like […]

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