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LGBTQ Curricular Laws

LGBTQ-related curricular laws are important for LGBTQ students’ health, wellbeing, and academic success. This map shows three distinct policies related to LGBTQ inclusion in—or exclusion from—school curricula or standards. First, LGBTQ-inclusive curricular laws explicitly require the state’s curricular standards to include LGBTQ people and history, such as in subjects like history, civics, or social studies. Harmful, exclusionary laws include parental opt-out laws, which require parents to be notified in advance of LGBTQ-inclusive curricula and allow parents to opt their children out of those classes. “Don’t Say Gay” policies (sometimes called “No Promo Homo” laws) restrict teachers and staff from even talking about LGBTQ people or issues. Learn more about the importance of inclusive curricular standards from GLSEN.
United States Map
Washington New York U.S. Virgin Islands Puerto Rico Guam Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands American Samoa New Hampshire Vermont Virginia Pennsylvania New York Maine West Virginia Ohio Kentucky Indiana Michigan Illinois Wisconsin North Carolina South Carolina Tennessee Georgia Florida Mississippi Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Iowa Minnesota Oklahoma Kansas Nebraska South Dakota North Dakota Texas 33 Colorado Wyoming Montana Idaho Arizona Utah Nevada Oregon California Hawaii Alaska Massachusetts Rhode Island Connecticut New Jersey Delaware Maryland Washington D.C. New Hampshire Vermont
  • State law explicitly requires LGBTQ inclusion in state curricular standards (7 states)
  • State has none of these LGBTQ-specific curricular laws (37 states, , 5 territories + D.C.)
  • State law requires parental notification of LGBTQ-inclusive curricula and allows parents to opt their children out (3 states)
  • State has “Don’t Say Gay” law or regulation prohibiting teachers and staff from discussing LGBTQ people or issues (4 states)
Often, laws requiring LGBTQ-inclusive curricular standards also require inclusive representation of other communities like people of color, people with disabilities, and religious minorities. Learn more about the importance of inclusive curricular standards from GLSEN.

Recommended citation:
Movement Advancement Project. "Equality Maps: LGBTQ Curricular Laws."
https://www.lgbtmap.org/equality_maps/curricular_laws. Accessed 12/05/2021.

Percent of Adult LGBTQ Population Covered by Laws

*Note: These percentages reflect estimates of the LGBTQ adult population living in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Estimates of the LGBTQ adult population in the five inhabited U.S. territories are not available, and so cannot be reflected here.

27%

27 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that require inclusion of LGBTQ people/history in school curricular standards

57%

57 % of LGBTQ population lives in states with none of these LGBTQ-specific curricular laws

6%

6 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that have a law allowing parents to opt children out of LGBTQ-inclusive curricula

11%

11 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that have “Don’t Say Gay” regulations

Key
  • State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identityLaw covers sexual orientation and gender identity/expression
  • ,
  • State does not have this lawIndicates an anti-LGBTQ Law
State LGBTQ-Inclusive Curricular Standards Parental Opt-Out Laws “Don’t Say Gay” Laws Year passed
Alabama
Alaska
American Samoa
Arizona
Arkansas State does not have this law 2021
California
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2011
Colorado
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2019
Connecticut
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2021
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Guam
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2019
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana State does not have this law 1993
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi State does not have this law 1998
Missouri
Montana State does not have this law 2021
Nebraska
Nevada
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2021
New Hampshire
New Jersey
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2019
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Northern Mariana Islands
Ohio
Oklahoma State does not have this law 1995
Oregon
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2019
Pennsylvania
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee State does not have this law 2021
Texas State does not have this law 1991
U.S. Virgin Islands
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming


Data current as of 12/01/2021
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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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