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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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LGBT Families of Color: Facts at a Glance

The Bottom Line

The intersection of inequitable laws, social stigma, and race-based discrimination collide in ways that create significant challenges for LGBT families of color. Children of color are more likely to be raised by de facto parents like grandparents, aunts, and other relatives, and are more likely to be raised by LGBT parents. As a result, antiquated laws that only protect children with legal ties to their parents have a disproportionately negative impact on children being raised in LGBT families of color.

LGBT Families of Color: Facts at a Glance examines these families and the ways children living in LGBT families of color face disproportionate economic struggles, unequal access to health care, and dual burdens of social stigma and discrimination. It also provides a set of key recommendations for addressing these harms and inequities.

The brief, which is based on content from All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families, was produced in partnership with the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), Unid@s, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), and Fighting Injustice to Reach Equality (FIRE), an initiative of the Center for American Progress. Both reports were co-authored by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), the Family Equality Council and the Center for American Progress.

  • LGBT Families of Color: Facts at a GlanceDownload

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