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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.


LGBT People

LGBT Americans have families, work hard to earn a living, pay taxes, and serve their communities and their country. Recent research by Gallup finds that 3.4% of the adult U.S. population identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Applying these figures to the total number of adults in the U.S., this suggests that there are roughly 9 million LGBT adults nationwide.

This page is a collection of all MAP resources addressing the many aspects of LGBT people's lives. For more tailored results, please use the search function at the top of the site or select an issue or population from the Policy menu.

Related Resources

New Campaign

Top Corporations, Civil Rights Advocates and 1,200+ Businesses Join Open to All!

July 2018 - Some of the nation’s largest companies including Yelp and Levi Strauss & Co. joined with more than 1,200 small businesses, the cities of New York and Oakland, and a coalition of more than 190 organizations to unveil a new nationwide Open to All campaign. This initiative is focused on encouraging businesses large and small to join together, to declare that they are “open to all.” To learn more, visit


Kids Pay the Price (Updated)

July 2018 - When states allow child services decisions to be based on religious beliefs and not the best interests of kids, it’s kids who pay the price. Learn more in this powerful new ad from MAP that FOX News Channel refused to air. For more on the campaign, visit



July 2018 – An amendment to a federal appropriations bill seeks to create a license to discriminate for child welfare providers, prioritizes the interests of providers over the welfare of children, reduces the likelihood that the most vulnerable children will find stability, and cuts more than $1.04 billion to state child welfare budgets. The more than 395,000 children in the child welfare system across the country will pay the price.


Understanding Masterpiece Cakeshop And Similiar Cases About Service Refusals

June 2018 – In June, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. This guide offers background, frequently asked questions and topline messages to facilitate conversations about the case and similar cases about service refusals.


Nursing Home Ad

June 2018 – Nursing Home is the latest in a series of ads illustrating the devastating harms many LGBT Americans face because have they no legal protection from discrimination. The new video features an older gay man and his family on the first day he moves into an assisted living facility. When the director of the facility learns the man is gay, he refuses to allow him to move in. No matter their age, and no matter who they love, no one should be turned away from a business or service provider simply because of who they are.


Open to All: Join the Campaign Ad

June 2018 – The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Masterpiece case affirmed that states can protect LGBT people from discrimination. Now it’s time for our nation’s laws to catch up to our nation’s values and protect all Americans from discrimination. Join the campaign to call on businesses to declare that they oppose discrimination and that they are Open to All. Visit to learn more.


Putting Children at Risk: How Efforts to Undermine Marriage Equality Harm Children

June 2018 – Authored by MAP and the Family Equality Council Putting Children at Risk: How Efforts to Undermine Marriage Equality Harm Children highlights how recent efforts to undermine marriage equality and protections for LGBT families pose a profound threat to the children in these families.


Religious Refusals in Health Care: A Prescription for Disaster

March 2018 - MAP and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) released a new report, Religious Refusals in Health Care: A Prescription for Disaster, examining the coordinated efforts at the federal and state level to allow medical providers to legally discriminate and deny needed care. These policies could encourage doctors, hospitals, paramedics, and other medical providers to pick and choose which patients they will treat, and who receives medically-necessary treatment.


Kids Pay the Price: Oklahoma

April 2018 - To support the efforts of Freedom Oklahoma to fight back against a dangerous adoption discrimination bill in 2018, MAP and partners at Lambda Legal and the Family Equality Council ran this ad on television in Oklahoma called “Kids Pay the Price,” illustrating the harms of bills like SB 1140.


Will We Go Back?

March 2018 - To mark the 50th anniversary of the Piggie Park decision, the Open to All campaign, MAP, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights released an ad, “Will We Go Back?,” that looks at how the Masterpiececase before the Supreme Court threatens this historic Civil Rights Ruling ruling.

Policy Brief

50 Years Ago vs. Today: Piggie Park & The High Stakes of the Masterpiece Cakeshop Case

March 2018 - Learn more about the Piggie Park decision and how creating a constitutional license to discriminate in Masterpiece could undermine that historic ruling. “50 Years Ago vs. Today: Piggie Park & The High Stakes of the Masterpiece Cakeshop Case”


Open to All

March 2018 - "Open to All" is the latest in a series of ads produced by MAP as part of the Open to All public education campaign. The video features Christian small business owners—Howard and Pat—speaking about how nobody should be turned away from a business simply because of who they are.

Policy Brief

Creating a License to Discriminate: First Amendment Defense Act

Updated March 2018 - To explain why the First Amendment Defense Act is so devastating and should not be re-introduced, this brief provides an analysis of the Senate version of FADA introduced in March 2018 and what it could mean for 10 million lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, along with millions of others. The brief underscores how vigilant we must be to ensure that a license to discriminate is not written into our laws.


LGBTQ Youth in the Child Welfare System

February 2018 - This infographic outlines the overrepresentation of LGBTQ youth in the child welfare system and the criminal justice system, and their experiences while involved with these systems.


Funeral Home

February 2018 - Inspired by a real legal case, Funeral Home, the latest in a series of ads produced by MAP as part of the Open to All campaign, depicts a grieving widow who has just lost her spouse, and she and her family are turned away from a funeral home and refused burial services for her wife. The ad is meant to show how a loss in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case would open the door to much wider ranging forms of discrimination—including what the grieving widow in the ad faced.

Policy Brief

"Funeral Home": The High Stakes of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case

February 2018 -Released in February 2018, a new public education ad, Funeral Home, produced by MAP, depicts a devastating scenario in which a grieving widow and her family are turned away from a funeral home and refused burial services for her wife. This policy brief outlines how the "Funeral Home" ad depicts the high stakes of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.


LGBT Employees & Title VII

Updated February 2018 - Several courts are considering cases brought by LGBT employees who have been discriminated against at work because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. This two page infographic offers an explanation of why Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is so important for LGBT employees and reviews the legal landscape.


Tipping the scales for religious exemptions to the law

January 2018 - This infographic, produced as part of the Tipping the Scales: The Coordinated Attack on LGBT People, Women, Parents, Children, and Health Care report, outlines the mounting legislation and litigation across the country orchestrated to undermine nondiscrimination protections, comprehensive health care, and the regulations administering social and public services by inserting exemptions into the laws based on religious or moral beliefs.

Policy Brief

Kids Pay the Price: How Discriminatory Adoption and Foster Care Laws Harm Children

 February, 2018  - This policy brief, authored by MAP and the Family Equality Council, in partnership with the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), offers a snapshot of the impact of discriminatory foster and adoption laws on the thousands of children waiting to be adopted in the seven states where these laws currently exist, the high stakes of passing similar laws in other states, and offers recommendations for supporting children in care.


Movie Theater

January 2018 -MAP’s latest ad, launched alongside the new LGBT Policy Spotlight: Public Accommodations Nondiscrimination Laws report, depicts how transgender people can experience discrimination, harassment and denial of equal treatment in places of public accommodation.


LGBT Policy Spotlight: Public Accommodations Nondiscrimination Laws

January 2018 - This spotlight report provides a comprehensive overview of the patchwork of federal, state, and local protections against discrimination in public spaces, and how this puts LGBT people at risk.


Dignity Denied: Religious Exemptions and LGBT Elder Services

December 2017 - Religious exemptions laws jeopardize the security and safety of LGBT older adults, who rely on many religiously affiliated organizations for services like congregate meals, skilled nursing, and health care.


"We Don't Serve Your Kind Here"

November 2017 - This video ad illustrates how Masterpiece could lead to a wider array of people—including LGBT people and families of color—facing discrimination, while helping other viewers imagine how they would feel if they faced similar discrimination. The ad was produced by MAP as part of the Open to All campaign. Learn more at


License to Discriminate

November 2017 - This video ad depicts ways in which a decision in favor of the bakery in this case could be used by those who seek to discriminate against LGBT people and others. The ad was produced by MAP as part of the Open to All campaign. Learn more at

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