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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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Other Parental Recognition Laws

These laws apply when women in a same-sex relationship have a child through donor insemination, granting legal parenting rights to the non-biological mother as well as the birth mother (just as the husband of a woman using donor insemination would be a legal parent of the child though he is not the biological father).

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
  • State has laws that create legal ties to both parents for children born to same-sex parents in a legally recognized relationship (marriage or comprehensive relationship recognition)(50 states + D.C.)
  • State has laws that create legal ties to both parents for children born to same-sex parents irrespective of parents' marital status or legal recognition of their relationship (3 states + D.C.)
  • State lacks clear mechanisms that create legal ties to both parents for children born to same-sex couples via donor insemination (0 states)
In these states, a child born to a same-sex couple using donor insemination is either deemed or presumed to be the child of both parents. Most states require the couple be married before both parents are recognized, though some states give rights to unmarried couples as long as the couple both intend to parent the child. For more information, contact Human Rights Campaign or Family Equality Council.

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

100%

100 % of LGBT population lives in states with laws that create legal ties for children born to same-sex parents in a legally recognized relationship

5%

5 % of LGBT population lives in states with laws that create legal ties irrespective of parents' marital status or legal recognition of their relationship

0%

0 % of LGBT population lives in states lacking clear mechanisms that create legal ties to both parents

De facto parenting laws apply when someone is raising a child but is not a legal parent of that child. De Facto parenting laws provide these parents with some limited legal rights to the child, for example, possibly granting visitation, custody or even full parenting rights should the parent’s relationship dissolve.

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
  • State recognizes de facto parents and may grant them visitation, custody or full parenting rights(6 states)
  • States allow limited recognition of de facto parents as a basis for visitation and/or custody (24 states + D.C.)
  • State recognition of de facto parents is uncertain or state may require parent to provide specific evidence (14 states)
  • State does not recognize de facto parents (6 states)
A "de facto parent" is someone other than a legal parent who, for reasons other than financial compensation, formed a child-parent relationship in which he or she shared (usually at least equally) in primary childcare responsibilities. This can be any person who acts as a parent in a child’s life and meets certain criteria, including same-sex parents, grandparents, stepparents, aunts, uncles or other loved ones. Analysis by the Movement Advancement Project.

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

7%

7 % of LGBT population lives in states recognizing de facto parents and may grant them visitation, custody or full parenting rights

56%

56 % of LGBT population lives in states allowing limited recognition of de facto parents as a basis for visitation and/or custody

25%

25 % of LGBT population lives in states where recognition of de facto parents is uncertain or may require parent to provide specific evidence

11%

11 % of LGBT population lives in states that do not recognize de facto parents

Key
  • State has this law Recognizes same-sex parents or de facto parents
  • State does not have this law Does not recognize de facto parents
State Recognition of Parents Using Donor Insemination Recognition of De Facto Parents
Alabama State has this law
Alaska State has this law
Arizona State has this law State has this law
Arkansas State has this law State has this law
California State has this law State has this law
Colorado State has this law State has this law
Connecticut State has this law State has this law
Delaware State has this law State has this law
District of Columbia State has this law State has this law
Florida State has this law
Georgia State has this law
Hawaii State has this law
Idaho State has this law
Illinois State has this law State does not have this law
Indiana State has this law State has this law
Iowa State has this law State does not have this law
Kansas State has this law State has this law
Kentucky State has this law State has this law
Louisiana State has this law
Maine State has this law State has this law
Maryland State has this law State has this law
Massachusetts State has this law State has this law
Michigan State has this law State does not have this law
Minnesota State has this law State has this law
Mississippi State has this law State has this law
Missouri State has this law
Montana State has this law State has this law
Nebraska State has this law State has this law
Nevada State has this law State has this law
New Hampshire State has this law
New Jersey State has this law State has this law
New Mexico State has this law State has this law
New York State has this law
North Carolina State has this law State has this law
North Dakota State has this law
Ohio State has this law State has this law
Oklahoma State has this law State has this law
Oregon State has this law State has this law
Pennsylvania State has this law State has this law
Rhode Island State has this law State has this law
South Carolina State has this law State has this law
South Dakota State has this law
Tennessee State has this law State does not have this law
Texas State has this law State has this law
Utah State has this law State does not have this law
Vermont State has this law State does not have this law
Virginia State has this law
Washington State has this law State has this law
West Virginia State has this law State has this law
Wisconsin State has this law State has this law
Wyoming State has this law


Data current as of 11/22/2016
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