New Democracy Maps

A Broken Bargain

Discrimination, Fewer Benefits and More Taxes for LGBT Workers

The basic American bargain is that people who work hard and meet their responsibilities should be able to get ahead. This basic bargain is not just an idea—it is embedded in laws that promote equal access to jobs and that protect workers from unfair practices. However, for workers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), this bargain is broken.

A Broken Bargain: Discrimination, Fewer Benefits and More Taxes for LGBT Workers examines how job discrimination without legal protection makes it harder for LGBT workers to find and keep a good job; and how LGBT workers receive fewer benefits and pay more taxes, which puts LGBT workers and their families at risk. The report also offers recommendations for how federal, state and local governments, as well as employers, can reduce barriers to finding and keeping a good job and provide equal access to individual and family benefits.

A Broken Bargain was co-authored by the Movement Advancement Project, the Center for American Progress and the Human Rights Campaign, in partnership with Freedom to Work, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the National Partnership for Women & Families, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, and SEIU—and features a foreword by Small Business Majority.

Recommended citation:
Movement Advancement Project, Center for American Progress, and Human Rights Campaign. June 2013. A Broken Bargain: Discrimination, Fewer Benefits and More Taxes for LGBT Workers. (date of access).

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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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