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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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Criminal Justice

Despite comprising an estimated 3.8% of the adult U.S. population, LGBT people are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. They are frequently targeted by and vulnerable to increased criminalization and abuse by law enforcement. They regularly experience assault and violence in correctional settings. And they face extraordinary challenges to rebuilding their lives upon release from the system, both because of their criminal record and because they are LGBT.

To illustrate the real impact of these failures in the criminal justice system, the series highlights personal stories of LGBT people impacted by the criminal justice system and spotlights innovative programs, initiatives, and organizations from around the country.

Related Resources

Infographic

Life after Conviction: LGBT People and Reentry

September 2016 - Discrimination and a lack of cultural competency in probation, parole, and re-entry programs mean LGBT people who have been incarcerated may not receive the assistance they need. This graphic gives an overview of the issues facing LGBT people during reentry.

Report

Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBTQ Youth

August 2016 - This companion report examines how as many as 3.2 million LGBTQ youth are vulnerable to discrimination, profiling, and mistreatment in the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The report also documents the rampant mistreatment and abuse that LGBTQ young people face in court proceedings, detention and re-entry.

Report

Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People of Color

August 2016 - Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People of Color examines how racism and anti-LGBT discrimination combine to make LGBT people of color uniquely vulnerable to entering the criminal justice system and also facing unfair and abusive treatment once they are in it.

Infographic

Unjust: LGBT & GNC Girls Graphic

June 2016 - LGBT and gender non-conforming girls, particularly girls of color, are drastically over-represented in the criminal justice system. This infographic highlights the unique experiences of LGBT and GNC girls with criminal justice systems.

Report

Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails Transgender People

May 2016 - Transgender people face high levels of discrimination in many areas of life, putting them at risk for economic insecurity, homelessness, and reliance on survival economies. Combined with policing strategies that profile and target transgender people, particularly transgender women of color, the result is high rates of criminalization of transgender people.

Report

Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People (Full Report)

February 2016 - Pervasive stigma and discrimination, biased enforcement of laws, and discriminatory policing strategies mean that LGBT people are disproportionately likely to interact with law enforcement and to have their lives criminalized. LGBT people are also treated unfairly once they enter the system; this report shows how they are overrepresented in jails and prisons and face abuse while incarcerated.

Report

Unjust: Condensed Report

February 2016 - Read the condensed version of Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People to learn about the factors that lead to disproportionate incarceration of LGBT people and their experiences of abuse in the system.

Report

Unjust: Executive Summary

February 2016 - Read the executive summary of Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People to learn about the factors that lead to disproportionate incarceration of LGBT people and their experiences of abuse in the system.

Infographic

Unjust: Infographics

February 2016 - From the pages of Unjust come a set of infographics, including: 'Disproportionate Criminalization Of LGBT People,' 'Life After Conviction: LGBT People Face Added Challenges To Rebuilding Their Lives,' 'Understanding The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA),' and more.

Video

Video: Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People

February 2016 - Created by the Movement Advancement Project and the Center for American Progress, this video gives a short overview of the issues raised in the report Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People.

Media Coverage

Unjust: Blog Posts and Media Coverage

February 2016 - Click through to see a list of blog posts and news articles about our report series on the issues facing LGBT people within criminal justice systems.

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