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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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Safe Schools Laws

Anti-bullying laws and statewide regulations protect LGBT students from bullying by other students, teachers, and school staff.

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
  • Law prohibits bullying on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity(19 states + D.C.)
  • Law prohibits bullying on the basis of sexual orientation only (0 states)
  • Law prohibits bullying on the basis of association with someone with a listed characteristic (5 states + D.C.)
  • School regulation or teacher code prohibits bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (2 states)
  • School regulation or teacher code prohibits bullying on the basis of sexual orientation only (5 states)
  • No law protecting LGBT students (24 states)
These laws prohibit bullying in schools on the basis of protected characteristics. "Association with someone with a listed characteristic" means the law prohibits bullying a student based on his/her relationship with someone. These laws protect students with LGBT friends or relatives. While some states, districts and schools have non-enumerated anti-bullying laws, research by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) finds that such laws have no impact on rates of anti-LGBT bullying. Therefore, states with such laws are not included on this map. Some states may interpret "gender" to include gender identity/expression. Such states are not reflected on this map. Nevada's anti-bullying law will come into effect on July 1, 2015.

Trevor Lifeline - (866-488-7386) - You can call the Trevor Lifeline to connect with a trained volunteer counselor who is ready to listen. It’s free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

51%

51 % of LGBT population lives in states that have laws prohibiting bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity

0%

0 % of LGBT population lives in states that have laws prohibiting bullying on the bases of sexual orientation only

1%

1 % of LGBT population lives in states that have school regulations or teacher codes prohibiting bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity

6%

6 % of LGBT population lives in states that have school regulations or teacher codes prohibiting bullying on the basis of sexual orientation only

44%

44 % of LGBT population lives in states have no law protecting LGBT students

School non-discrimination laws and statewide regulations protect LGBT students from discrimination in school, including being unfairly denied access to facilities, sports teams, or clubs.

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
  • Law prohibits discrimination in schools on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity(12 states + D.C.)
  • Law prohibits discrimination in schools on the basis of sexual orientation only (1 state)
  • Law prohibits discrimination in schools on the basis of association with someone with a listed characteristic (2 states)
  • School regulation or teacher code prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (0 states)
  • School regulation or teacher code prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation only (4 states)
  • No law protecting LGBT students (33 states)
These laws prohibit discrimination in schools and school programs on the basis of protected characteristics. "Association with someone with a listed characteristic" means the law prohibits discrimination against a student based on his/her relationship with someone such as an LGBT friend or relative. Some states may interpret "gender" to include gender identity/expression. Such states are not reflected on this map. The Department of Education has issued guidance that under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, prohibitions against sex discrimination also mean schools cannot discriminate against transgender students or students who do not conform to gender stereotypes. The Office of Civil Rights will investigate claims of discrimination based on gender identity in public schools and universities. For more information, contact GLSEN.

Trevor Lifeline - (866-488-7386) - You can call the Trevor Lifeline to connect with a trained volunteer counselor who is ready to listen. It’s free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

36%

36 % of LGBT population lives in states that have laws prohibiting discrimination in schools on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity

2%

2 % of LGBT population lives in states that have laws prohibiting discrimination in schools on the basis of sexual orientation

14%

14 % of LGBT population lives in states that have laws prohibiting discrimination in schools on the basis of association with someone with a listed characteristic

0%

0 % of LGBT population lives in states that have school regulation or teacher codes that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity

2%

2 % of LGBT population lives in states that have school regulations or teacher codes that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation

60%

60 % of LGBT population lives in states have no law protecting LGBT students from discrimination

Anti-LGBT school laws prohibit enumeration of sexual orientation or gender identity in school anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policies. “Don’t Say Gay” laws restrict teachers and staff from talking about LGBT issues and people.

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 "Don't Say Gay" regulation(8 states)
  • State law prohibiting enumerated anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policies (2 states)
  • No anti-LGBT school law or regulation (40 states + D.C.)
These laws may prohibit school bullying or nondiscrimination policies from listing protected characteristics. They may also prohibit students or teachers from talking about LGBT people. Most "Don't Say Gay" laws are written to bar any discussion of same-sex relationships within sex education programming, but the laws are often vague and can be misapplied by schools to limit discussion and inclusion of LGBT people and issues in other parts of the curriculum, school events and programs, and even extracurricular activities (for example, by being seen as prohibiting Gay-Straight Alliances). For more information, contact GLSEN.

Passed in 2016, North Carolina's HB2 restricts access to restrooms and locker rooms in government buildings, including public schools and public universities.

Trevor Lifeline - (866-488-7386) - You can call the Trevor Lifeline to connect with a trained volunteer counselor who is ready to listen. It’s free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

17%

17 % of LGBT population lives in states with "Don't Say Gay" regulations that prohibit teachers from discussing LGB issues

2%

2 % of LGBT population lives in states that prohibit enumeration in anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policies

81%

81 % of LGBT population lives in states that have no anti-LGBT school laws or regulation

Key
  • State has law that only covers sexual orientationLaw covers sexual orientation
  • State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identityLaw covers sexual orientation and gender identity/expression
  • Law covers association
  • State does not have this law Indicates an anti-LGB law
State Anti-bullying Non-discrimination Anti-LGBT laws Year Passed
Alabama 1992
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2011
California
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2002
Colorado
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2008
Connecticut
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2001(Sexual Orientation)/2011(Gender Identity/Expression)
Delaware 2012
District of Columbia
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2001
Florida
Georgia 2011
Hawaii 2008
Idaho
Illinois
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2010
Indiana
Iowa
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2007
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Maryland
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2008
Massachusetts
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
1993(Nondiscrim Sexual Orientation)/2011(Nondiscrim Gender Identity)/2014 (Anti-bullying)
Michigan
Minnesota
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
1993 (Non-Discrim)/2014 (Anti-Bullying)
Mississippi 1998
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Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
New Hampshire
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2010
New Jersey
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2002
New Mexico
New York
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2010
North Carolina
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2009
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma 1995
Oregon
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2007
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2011
South Carolina 1988
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Tennessee
Texas 1991
Utah 2004
Vermont
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2001(Sexual Orientation)/2007(Gender Identity/Expression)
Virginia
Washington
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2002(Sexual Orientation)/2009(Gender Identity/Expression)
West Virginia
Wisconsin
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
2001
Wyoming
Data current as of 11/22/2016
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