Democratic lawmakers from 16 states committed to helping transgender youth who have been affected by anti-LGBTQ+ laws in America.

This will be done through legislation that will provide legal refuge to trans people and their families who have been displaced.

The coalition was announced by the LGBTQ+ Victory Institute and other advocate groups on 3 May, where California state Senator Scott Wiener said he is “sick of just playing defence against what these red states are doing.”

“We’re going on offence, we’re going to protect LGBTQ kids and their families and we’re going to build a rainbow wall to protect our community,” he continued.

Senator Wiener first proposed a bill of this kind in California this March, with Minnesota and New York swiftly filing legislation modelled on it.

Now, 16 additional states plan to join the effort: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

Roughly half of these have legislatures that are out of session or not accepting new bills at this time, meaning some of the proposals may move at different paces.

There are currently at least 335 anti-LGBTQ+ bills moving through 36 states, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

These range from trans sports bans to censoring the teaching of LGBTQ+ issues in schools, among many other things.

Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, recently compared medical procedures for young trans people to “child abuse” and called on state agencies to investigate trans families – though this has been temporarily blocked by a judge.

Annise Parker, president and CEO of the Victory Institute, stated that although the legislation being put forward by the coalition of states would likely fail in some areas, it is still an “opportunity to drive the conversation and the debate, and to call on our allies proactively to step up instead of allowing ourselves to be targeted.”

“We would love to see these bills in states where there are more progressive legislatures,” she added. “But we also think it’s important that trans kids and their families out there see and hear legislators from our community standing up and defending them.”