According to the most recent data available, in 2022, 192 of the nation’s total 7,572 state legislators were openly out as LGBTQ+, an increase of 1.5% since 2021. That number increased again with the 2022 election, including as a few states elected their first nonbinary or trans legislator.
We’re proud to work with LGBTQ+ state legislators across the country who are showing up for work every day to fight for healthy food, the environment, and rural families and pass important policies to support equitable communities. Check out some of the LGBTQ+ legislators leading the way in agriculture, rural, and food policy.
Georgia Senator Sees Opportunities in Working on Agriculture:
After a brutal session fighting an onslaught of anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ+, and anti-abortion policies in her state, Georgia Senator Kim Jackson, a clergy member and member of the LGBTQ+ caucus, found another avenue for justice by sponsoring Senate Bill 39, known as the “Second Chance Farming Act.” SB39, now a part of the hemp omnibus bill SB22, gives people with previous drug-related convictions an opportunity to receive a hemp growing license. A current Georgia law excludes people with drug convictions from being granted a license to grow hemp. The law disproportionately impacts the Black community, as African-Americans have historically and currently been overpoliced and incarcerated for drug crimes. For Senator Jackson, hemp farming offers great potential to help farmers rejuvenate both their soil and their bottom lines while creating greater justice and equity in Georgia’s agriculture economy. Learn more about Senator Jackson’s work.
Colorado’s First Trans Legislator Deals a Blow to Corporate Control:
Thanks to the efforts of Representative Brianna Titone – a CROP member and the first transgender legislator in the state – Colorado recently became the first state in the country to pass a Right to Repair law specifically for agricultural equipment. The law allows farmers to fix their own equipment instead of being required to go through the manufacturer or licensed dealers, which costs much more time and money. This is an important policy win that disrupts the free rein of some powerful multinational companies in the agricultural sector. Read more about this win.
Vermont Rainbow Caucus Legislator Fights for Kids and Farmers:
LGBTQ+ Vermont Representative Mike Rice sees his work on the House Agriculture, Food Resiliency, and Forestry Committee as a way to build resilient local food systems and encourage methods of farming that responsibly steward land in the face of the climate crisis. Rep. Rice worked with colleagues in the 2023 session to pass HB165. The bill creates a Universal School Meals program to feed Vermont’s kids and support local farmers and producers. Read more about Rep. Rice’s work on HB165.