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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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Talking About Religious Exemptions Laws

The Bottom Line

Talking About Religious Exemptions Laws is a guide to building effective conversations about the ways in which harmful religious exemptions threaten not only laws that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination, but also health care (including women’s reproductive freedom), public safety, and more.

The guide offers approaches for talking about both broad religious exemptions laws (like proposed state RFRAs) as well as religious exemptions that are often specifically designed to harm LGBT people and circumvent nondiscrimination laws. It also focuses on approaches for talking about the ways in which broad religious exemptions laws can interfere with women’s reproductive health.

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