The Bottom Line
MAP’s biennial Momentum Report tracks indicators of the LGBT movement’s progress as measured by four broad areas of progress: changes in cultural, social and political climate; progress on key issues for LGBT Americans; improvements in the lived experiences of LGBT Americans; and the strength and capacity of LGBT movement organizations. All indicators measure progress toward the ability of LGBT Americans to have equal opportunity to participate in American life, including the pursuit of health and happiness, the ability to earn a living, the ability to serve their country, the ability to be safe in their communities, and the ability to take care of their families.
MAP’s Momentum Report, produced biennially since 2007, organizes and analyzes indicators of the LGBT movement's progress toward securing equal opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in American life.
Recent Momentum Reports deliver mostly encouraging news for LGBT people in the U.S. The American public continues to become more supportive of LGBT legal and social equality. Non-discrimination and relationship recognition laws protect an increasing number of LGBT people and families. Federal hate crimes law now includes protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law prohibiting open service by LGB troops is expected to be ended in September 2011. And while movement organizations are experiencing declines in revenues due to the economic downturn, their overall financial health remains strong.
However, the 2011 report also notes that amid an accelerating rate of progress, LGBT people are facing an increasingly two-tiered existence, depending almost entirely on where they live. Committed gay and lesbian couples still have almost no legal protections in 30 states; hard-working employees can still be unfairly fired in 29 states just because they’re LGB—while transgender employees can still be unfairly fired in 35 states; 32 states lack safe schools laws that prohibit bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation; and 35 states lack similar laws based on gender identity. In addition, the federal government’s refusal to recognize gay and lesbian couples means that even couples who legally marry in their state are denied fundamental protections (such as family health insurance and Social Security survivor benefits) extended to their straight counterparts.
In addition to this analysis of progress across policy areas and in the cultural, social and political climate, MAP's 2011 Momentum Report looks at the lived experiences of LGBT people, including their economic lives, employment, housing, health and wellness, education, and experiences of violence and hate crimes. The report also notes the need for improved data on the lives of LGBT Americans.