New Democracy Maps

Talking About Inclusive Employment Protections

The Bottom Line

The vast majority of Americans support the idea that hardworking LGBT employees should be protected from being unfairly fired from their jobs. However, most Americans don’t realize that in most of the U.S., employers are still able to fire people simply for being gay or transgender.

Talking About Inclusive Employment Protections offers helpful conversation starters for opening people’s eyes to the harms that LGBT people experience in the workplace, as well as reminders to keep these vital discussions focused on our shared values of hard work, earning a living, and providing for oneself and one’s family.

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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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