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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.


Transgender People

Rising visibility, unprecedented advocacy, and changing public opinion are working to provide transgender people greater legal protections than ever before. At the same time, many transgender people, particularly transgender women and transgender people of color, still face enormous barriers to their safety, health, and well-being.

The following resources offer an overview into the lives of transgender people maps and reports about the legal landscape and the impact on transgender youth and adults, and the threat of religious exemptions to the health and wellbeing of transgender people.

Related Resources

New Ad


September 2018 - “Hallway," the new PSA produced by MAP and released in partnership with GLSEN, depicts the harassment transgender students often face when they need to use the restroom at school—and how school administrators and supportive students alike can help. "Hallway," was released as part of the new Safe Schools Movement campaign to encourage parents, educators, youth, and policymakers to advocate for safe schools for LGBTQ youth.

New Brief

Transgender Youth in Schools

September 2018 - Released as part of the new Safe Schools Movement, this new infographic brief from MAP, GLSEN and NCTE highlights the experience of transgender students in school and the laws and policies still needed to ensure transgender students can fully participate in school.


The Power of State Preemption: Preventing Progress and Threatening Equality

May 2018 - The Power of State Preemption: Preventing Progress and Threatening Equality exposes the coordinated effort to limit municipalities from passing local laws, the special interests motivating these efforts, and the negative impact specifically on LGBT people. The report concludes that when preemption is used in this way to undermine people’s economic security, health, and safety, it jeopardizes local democracy and equality for all.


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.


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.


Transgender Students and Title IX

Updated February 2018 - Every student deserves a fair chance to succeed in school and prepare for their future—including students who are transgender. This two page infographic offers an explanation of why Title IX of the Civil Rights Act is so important for transgender students and reviews the legal landscape.


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.


A Closer Look: Bisexual Transgender People

September 2017 - The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, offers a unique opportunity to examine the lives, experiences, disparities, and resilience of bisexual transgender people. this report analyzes data from the U.S. Transgender Survey, documents disparities for bisexual people and offers recommendations for remedying those disparities.


Separation and Stigma: Transgender Youth & School Facilities

April 2017 - This new report examines the harmful and unnecessary policies that exclude transgender students from accessing appropriate school facilities. Despite the success of inclusive policies across the country, seventeen states have introduced legislation designed to ensure transgender students are relegated to facilities that align with the sex on their birth certificate, rather than their gender identity.


Mapping Transgender Equality in the United States

February 2017 - To help make sense of the current policy landscape in the states, this report looks at legal equality for transgender people across the country. The gender identity tally is comprised of 25 state laws and policies in five key categories: Non-Discrimination, LGBT Youth, Health and Safety, Ability to Correct the Name and Gender Marker on Identity Documents, and Adoption and Parenting.


Talking About Transgender Students & School Facilities Access

January 2017 - As part of ongoing efforts to protect transgender people from discrimination, there is growing momentum to ensure that transgender students have a fair chance at educational success. This guide provides high-level messaging to help build support for policies and laws that protect transgender students and their ability to access school facilities that match their gender identity.


Talking About Transgender People & Restrooms

August 2016 - Explore approaches for talking about transgender people and restrooms in a variety of contexts, including: building support for (and calming concerns about) nondiscrimination protections, opposing harmful anti-transgender bathroom ban laws, and more.


Equality Maps: Identity Document Laws and Policies

August 2016 - These maps illustrate the state laws and administrative polices governing the processes by which an individual can change the gender marker on their driver's license and/or birth certificate to accurately reflect their gender identity, sometimes including intrusive and outdated requirements, such as proof of sex reassignment surgery and court orders.


LGBT Policy Tally Snapshot: Gender Identity

August 2016 - Policy Tallies provide an overview of laws and polices that exist in each state. This tally includes laws that explicitly mention gender identity or gender identity and expression.


Local Employment Non-Discrimination Ordinances: Gender Identity/Expression

August 2016 - Local employment non-discrimination ordinances protect people from being unfairly fired, not hired, or discriminated against in the workplace by private employers on the basis of gender identity.


Healthcare Laws and Policies

August 2016 - Health care laws and policies impact many areas of LGBT people's lives, from insurance coverage to protections for LGBT youth.


The Facts: Bathroom Safety, Nondiscrimination Laws, and Bathroom Ban Laws

July 2016 - The Facts: Bathroom Safety, Nondiscrimination Laws, and Bathroom Ban Laws provides a thorough and rational discussion of the legal landscape pertaining to nondiscrimination laws, bathroom ban laws, and restroom safety.


New TV Ad: Restaurant

July 2016 - Debuting July 21 on FOX News Channel, this groundbreaking new TV ad created by MAP depicts the challenges transgender people face in accessing public restrooms when our laws don’t protect them from discrimination. For more on the campaign, visit


Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails Transgender People

May 2016 - Transgender people face high levels of discrimination in many areas of life, putting them at risk for economic insecurity, homelessness, and reliance on survival economies. Combined with policing strategies that profile and target transgender people, particularly transgender women of color, the result is high rates of criminalization of transgender people.


Snapshot: Transgender in America

July 2015 - This new infographic, “Snapshot: Transgender in America,” gives a quick look at state-level laws and policies that impact the lives of transgender people and provides some key statistics on the challenges transgender people face.


An Ally's Guide to Talking About Nondiscrimination Protections for LGBT People

April 2015 - Learn about conversation approaches that can help build and sustain solid, lasting support for LGBT nondiscrimination laws, and also factually and effectively address concerns that might be raised when discussing the need for such protections.


Understanding Issues Facing Transgender Americans

February 2015 - Coauthored by the Movement Advancement Project, the Transgender Law Center, and the National Center for Transgender Equality, with partnership by GLAAD, Understanding Issues Facing Transgender Americans provides a high-level introduction for advocates and allies to the issues facing transgender Americans, as well as recommendations for change.


Paying an Unfair Price: The Financial Penalty for Being Transgender in America

February 2015 - Transgender people in the United States face clear financial penalties and are left economically vulnerable because of discrimination and hostile educational environments. Learn more in this companion report to Paying an Unfair Price.


A Broken Bargain for Transgender Workers

September 2013 - The basic American bargain--that those who work hard and meet their responsibilities should be able to get ahead--is broken for transgender workers. Learn about the inequities facing transgender workers, and how policymakers and employers can help reduce and eliminate those inequities.


Advancing Transgender Equality: Snapshot

January 2009 - This snapshot report provides a capsule summary of the full report, as well as recommendations that can help LGBT organizations and their funders advance equality for transgender people in the years ahead.


Advancing Transgender Equality (Members Only Resource)

January 2009 - This report provides an overview of the movement for transgender equality, as well as recommendations that can help LGBT organizations and their funders advance equality for transgender people in the years ahead.

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