In the last two years, the number of lawsuits filed against LGBT-inclusive workplace policies and policies by faith-based organizations has skyrocketed.
A survey by the Human Rights Campaign found that since the implementation of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, at least 572 lawsuits have been filed against businesses for their refusal to allow same-sex couples to be married.
But there is an alarming trend of LGBT-specific discrimination occurring at the state and local level, too.
And those efforts are being thwarted by a handful of lawmakers in statehouses across the country.
In 2015, a bill was introduced in the Indiana legislature to ban all same-gender marriage and adoption ceremonies.
But the bill failed, thanks to the support of the Religious Right and a small but vocal minority of Republican lawmakers.
This year, the Indiana state legislature has introduced a bill to ban LGBT-focused adoption ceremonies and ceremonies that involve adoption or foster care children.
But Republican Gov.
Eric Holcomb and several of his Republican colleagues have refused to sign the bill, even as they claim to support religious liberty.
The Indiana House is considering a similar bill that would ban all LGBT-centric adoptions and ceremonies.
A bill passed in the California legislature in 2016 that would have prohibited local governments from passing laws barring same-gendered weddings and adoptions failed.
And in Oklahoma, state Rep. Paul Pomeroy, a Republican who represents the rural district where the Oklahoman-Chico Times Square is located, sponsored a bill that seeks to ban any and all same sex marriage ceremonies that are “recognized as valid” by the state of Oklahoma.
“This is an issue that affects me personally,” Pomeroya said in an interview with The Huffington Post.
“I don’t want to live in a society that condones this.”
In Texas, the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, has filed a lawsuit against the state for banning all same gender marriages.
In March, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas is legally obligated to recognize gay and lesbian marriages.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paeshia.
In August, the Supreme Court struck down a law in Texas that required people who want to get married to get approval from the county clerk, who was the primary authority for determining whether or not a same- sex marriage was legal.
“There are no words to express the feeling that this is a big win for the LGBTQ community,” Pomersoya said.
“We can’t have our cake and eat it too.
We have to have a bigger conversation and a bigger fight.”
Pomeroys lawsuit against Texas is likely to be appealed.
In Ohio, state Sen. Mike Rogers, a Democrat who represents a large part of the rural west of the state, sponsored legislation that would prohibit all LGBT marriages.
The bill, which would also bar adoption by same- gender couples, passed the Ohio Senate but died in the Ohio House.
“The state of Ohio has shown time and time again that it is not going to stand for the discrimination that is occurring in this state,” Rogers said in a statement.
“That is why I am proud to have introduced legislation that is the most inclusive and progressive in the country.”
It is a fight that Pomeróts fight is not alone.
A coalition of religious conservatives in New Mexico is pushing for a bill prohibiting all same type of marriage ceremonies.
The group has partnered with the National Center for Lesbian Rights to lobby for the bill.
The legislation would prevent a county clerk from issuing marriage licenses to same- genders.
The coalition has received support from members of the New Mexico GOP and from several Republican state lawmakers.
“Our community needs a voice,” said Mike McQuade, president of the National Organization for Marriage.
“They need to have an equal voice and they need to be heard.”
In Michigan, a new bill is trying to pass the state legislature that would require any same- kind of marriage to be performed at a religious institution.
“It is a great bill,” said Rep. Steve Bell, a Michigan Republican who introduced the legislation.
“Michigan’s already one of the few states that has such a requirement in place.
I think that’s important.
There are some issues that need to get resolved, but it’s important to give everybody a fair chance.”
And in South Carolina, Gov.
Nikki Haley has signed a bill banning all religious marriages in the state.
“People who practice their faith should not be denied access to marriage because of their religious beliefs,” Haley said in her statement announcing the bill last month.
“While we are a Christian nation, it is important that we do not treat others as second-class citizens.”
South Carolina is the only state to have enacted legislation barring same gender marriage.
“In South Carolina we are blessed to be a state that has a unique and inclusive definition of marriage,” said Nikki Haley, a South Carolina Republican.
“No one is second class.”