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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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Non-Discrimination Laws

Employment non-discrimination laws protect LGBT people from being unfairly fired, not hired, or discriminated against in the workplace by private employers.

United States Map
Vermont New Hampshire Washington D.C. Maryland Delaware New Jersey Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Alaska Hawaii California Oregon Washington Nevada Utah Arizona Idaho Montana Wyoming Colorado 33 Texas North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Minnesota Iowa Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Mississippi Florida Georgia Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Maine New York Pennsylvania Virginia Vermont New Hampshire
  • Employment non-discrimination law covers sexual orientation and gender identity(20 states + D.C.)
  • Employment non-discrimination law covers only sexual orientation, though federal law offers some protections (see note) (2 states)
  • No employment non-discrimination law covering sexual orientation or gender identity, though federal law offers some protections (see note) (28 states)
  • State has law preventing passage or enforcement of local nondiscrimination laws
Various rulings by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission extend Title VII's prohibition on sex discrimination to prohibit discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity. However, EEOC rulings are not binding on private employers and federal courts may rule differently. This map also only reflects states that have statewide statutes banning discrimination in private employment. Many states have executive orders or laws that protect all public employees, and many large cities and other localities have ordinances, executive orders, or personnel policies that protect local employees and some employees of local businesses. These laws, regulations and executive orders are not reflected on this map.

Passed in 2016, North Carolina's HB2 also prohibits cities and counties in the state from passing non-discrimination protections in employment or places of public accommodations above the ceiling set by the state.

*New York promulgated regulations in 2016 that define "sex" in New York's human rights law to include gender identity.

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

47%

47 % of LGBT population lives in states prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

48%

48 % of LGBT population lives in states prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation

52%

52 % of LGBT population lives in states that do not prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity

Housing non-discrimination laws protect LGBT people from being unfairly evicted, denied housing, or refused the ability to rent or buy housing.

United States Map
Vermont New Hampshire Washington D.C. Maryland Delaware New Jersey Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Alaska Hawaii California Oregon Washington Nevada Utah Arizona Idaho Montana Wyoming Colorado 33 Texas North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Minnesota Iowa Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Mississippi Florida Georgia Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Maine New York Pennsylvania Virginia Vermont New Hampshire
  • Housing non-discrimination law covers sexual orientation and gender identity(20 states + D.C.)
  • Housing non-discrimination law covers only sexual orientation (2 states)
  • No housing non-discrimination law covering sexual orientation or gender identity (28 states)
  • State has law preventing passage or enforcement of local nondiscrimination laws
This map reflects states that have statewide statutes banning discrimination in housing. Public accommodations may not be covered. Some states may interpret "gender" to include gender identity/expression. Such states are not reflected on this map.

*New York promulgated regulations in 2016 that define "sex" in New York's human rights law to include gender identity.

For additional information, contact the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, the National Center for Transgender Equality,

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

47%

47 % of LGBT population lives in states prohibiting housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

48%

48 % of LGBT population lives in states prohibiting housing discrimination based on sexual orientation

52%

52 % of LGBT population lives in states that do not prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity

Public accommodation non-discrimination laws protect LGBT people from being unfairly refused service or entry to, or from facing discrimination in, places accessible to the public. Public accommodations laws generally cover anywhere someone is when they are not at home, work, or school, including retail stores, restaurants, parks, hotels, doctors’ offices, and banks.

United States Map
Vermont New Hampshire Washington D.C. Maryland Delaware New Jersey Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Alaska Hawaii California Oregon Washington Nevada Utah Arizona Idaho Montana Wyoming Colorado 33 Texas North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Minnesota Iowa Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Mississippi Florida Georgia Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Maine New York Pennsylvania Virginia Vermont New Hampshire
  • Public accommodations non-discrimination law covers sexual orientation and gender identity(19 states + D.C.)
  • Public accommodations non-discrimination law covers only sexual orientation (2 states)
  • No public accommodations non-discrimination law covering sexual orientation or gender identity (29 states)
  • State has law preventing passage or enforcement of local nondiscrimination laws
This map reflects states that have statewide statutes banning discrimination in public accommodations. Some states may interpret "gender" to include gender identity/expression. Such states are not reflected on this map. Passed in 2016, North Carolina's HB2 restricts access to restrooms in government buildings, including government offices, public schools, and public universities. HB2 also prohibits cities and counties in the state from passing non-discrimination protections in employment or places of public accommodations above the ceiling set by the state.

*New York promulgated regulations in 2016 that define "sex" in New York's human rights law to include gender identity.

For additional information, contact the Center for American Progress,

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

46%

46 % of LGBT population lives in states prohibiting public accommodations discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

48%

48 % of LGBT population lives in states prohibiting public accommodations discrimination based on sexual orientation

52%

52 % of LGBT population lives in states that do not prohibit public accommodations discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity

Credit and lending non-discrimination laws protect LGBT people from being unfairly denied credit and lending services.

United States Map
Vermont New Hampshire Washington D.C. Maryland Delaware New Jersey Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Alaska Hawaii California Oregon Washington Nevada Utah Arizona Idaho Montana Wyoming Colorado 33 Texas North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Minnesota Iowa Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Mississippi Florida Georgia Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Maine New York Pennsylvania Virginia Vermont New Hampshire
  • Credit nondiscrimination law covers sexual orientation and gender identity (13 states)
  • Credit nondiscrimination law covers only sexual orientation (1 state)
  • No credit nondiscrimination law covering sexual orientation or gender identity (36 states + D.C.)
  • State has law preventing passage or enforcement of local nondiscrimination laws
This map reflects those states with explicit, statutory prohibitions of credit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Some states may have similar, more limited protections within housing or public accommodations law, or set by administrative interpretation. Some states may interpret "gender" to include gender identity/expression. Such states are not reflected on this map. The federal Consumer Finance Protection Board released guidance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Federal courts may rule differently.

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

21%

21 % of LGBT population lives in states prohibiting credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

7%

7 % of LGBT population lives in states prohibiting credit discrimination based on sexual orientation

72%

72 % of LGBT population lives in states that do not prohibit credit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity

State laws or policies that prohibit discrimination against state employees on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

United States Map
Vermont New Hampshire Washington D.C. Maryland Delaware New Jersey Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Alaska Hawaii California Oregon Washington Nevada Utah Arizona Idaho Montana Wyoming Colorado 33 Texas North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Minnesota Iowa Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Mississippi Florida Georgia Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Maine New York Pennsylvania Virginia Vermont New Hampshire
  • Public employment non-discrimination policy covers gender identity and sexual orientation (23 states + D.C.)
  • Public employment non-discrimination policy covers only sexual orientation, though federal law offers some protections (see note) (7 states)
  • No employment non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation or gender identity, though federal law offers some protections (see note) (20 states)

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

57%

57 % of the LGBT population lives in states with policies that protect state employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

10%

10 % of the LGBT population lives in states with policies that protect state employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation only

33%

33 % of the LGBT population lives in states with no state policy prohibiting discrimination in public employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity

Key
  • State has law that only covers sexual orientationLaw covers sexual orientation
  • State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identityLaw covers sexual orientation and gender identity/expression
  • Transgender exclusions in health insurance service coverage prohibited
State Employment Housing Public
Accommodations
Credit State Employees
  Citations Citations Citations Citations
Alabama
Alaska
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
Arizona
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
Arkansas
California
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Colorado
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Connecticut
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Delaware
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
District of Columbia
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Idaho
Illinois
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Indiana
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Iowa
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Kansas
Kentucky
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Louisiana
Maine
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Maryland
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Massachusetts
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Michigan
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Minnesota
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Mississippi
Missouri
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
Montana
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
Nebraska
Nevada
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
New Hampshire
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
New Jersey
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
New Mexico
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
New York
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
Oklahoma
Oregon
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Pennsylvania
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Rhode Island
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Vermont
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Virginia
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Washington
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
West Virginia
Wisconsin
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
Wyoming
Data current as of 11/22/2016
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