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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.

State religious exemption laws permit people, churches, non-profit organizations, and sometimes corporations to seek exemptions from state laws that burden their religious beliefs.

United States Map
  • State has constitutional or statutory religious exemption law (RFRA)(21 states)
  • State permits state-licensed child welfare agencies to refuse to place and provide services to children and families, including LGBT people and same-sex couples, if doing so conflicts with their religious beliefs (4 states)
  • State has targeted religious exemption law that permits state officials to decline to marry couples of whose marriage they disapprove (2 states)
  • State has targeted religious exemption that that permits faith-based organizations to deny services to married same-sex couples (2 states)
  • State has no religious exemption law (RFRA) (26 states + D.C.)
These laws have recently been used as a defense when businesses discriminate against or refuse service to LGBT customers and same-sex couples.

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

42%

42 % of LGBT population lives in states with constitutional or statutory religious exemption laws

7%

7 % of LGBT population lives in states permitting state-licensed child welfare agencies to refuse to place and provide services to children and families, including LGBT people and same-sex couples, if doing so conflicts with their religious beliefs

4%

4 % of LGBT population lives in states with religious exemption law that permits state officials to decline to marry couples of whose marriage they disapprove

2%

2 % of LGBT population lives in states with targeted religious exemption that that permits faith-based organizations to deny services to married same-sex couples

42%

42 % of LGBT population lives in states that do not have religious exemption laws

Key
  • State does not have this law State has religious exemption law
State Constitutional or Statutory Targeted Adoption/Child Services Denial Targeted Marriage License Denial Targeted Marriage Services Denial
Alabama State does not have this law
Alaska
Arizona State does not have this law
Arkansas State does not have this law
California
Colorado
Connecticut State does not have this law
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida State does not have this law
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho State does not have this law
Illinois State does not have this law
Indiana State does not have this law
Iowa
Kansas State does not have this law State does not have this law
Kentucky State does not have this law
Louisiana State does not have this law
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan State does not have this law
Minnesota
Mississippi State does not have this law State does not have this law State does not have this law State does not have this law
Missouri State does not have this law
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico State does not have this law
New York
North Carolina State does not have this law
North Dakota State does not have this law
Ohio
Oklahoma State does not have this law
Oregon
Pennsylvania State does not have this law
Rhode Island State does not have this law
South Carolina State does not have this law
South Dakota
Tennessee State does not have this law
Texas State does not have this law
Utah
Vermont
Virginia State does not have this law State does not have this law
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Data current as of 02/23/2017
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