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Hate Crime Laws

Hate crime laws create additional or enhanced penalties for crimes committed with bias toward particular characteristics, such as race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.  As shown on separate maps, some state laws also require data collection about hate crimes and training for law enforcement about hate crimes. 
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
The federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act allows the federal government to prosecute hate crimes, including those based on sexual orientation and gender identity. State laws may also allow for state or local prosecution of certain hate crimes, depending on what, if any, protections the state law offers.
  • Law enumerates sexual orientation and gender identity(22 states, 2 territories + D.C.)
  • Law enumerates only sexual orientation (11 states, 0 territories)
  • State explicitly interprets existing hate crimes law to include sexual orientation and/or gender identity (1 state, 0 territories)
  • Existing hate crime law does not cover sexual orientation or gender identity (13 states, 0 territories)
  • No hate crime law (4 states, 3 territories)
*Note: Tennessee state law explicitly enumerates sexual orientation, but not gender identity. However, the law does enumerate "gender," and the state attorney general affirms that this means transgender people are also protected.

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act is a federal law that amended federal hate crime law to include gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. Several states have hate crime laws that require data collection for sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, but do not impose additional penalties: Indiana (sexual orientation), Michigan (sexual orientation) and Rhode Island (gender identity or expression). For additional information, contact the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, the National Center for Transgender Equality, or the Equality Federation.


Read MAP’s report Policy Spotlight: Hate Crime Laws (July 2021) for more analysis of the many dimensions of state hate crime laws, the complex patchwork across states, the limitations of hate crime laws, and the potential opportunities for expanding social and policy responses to hate violence.

Recommended citation:
Movement Advancement Project. "Equality Maps: Hate Crime Laws." https://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/hate_crime_laws. Accessed 09/20/2021. 

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.

54%

54 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that have hate crime laws covering sexual orientation and gender identity

23%

23 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that have hate crime laws covering sexual orientation

2%

2 % of LGBTQ population lives in states which explicitly interpret existing hate crimes law to include sexual orientation and/or gender identity

17%

17 % of LGBTQ population lives in states with laws that do not cover sexual orientation or gender identity

4%

4 % of LGBTQ population lives in states with no hate crime laws

Consistent, accurate data collection about hate crimes is vital for understanding the scope of violence, trends over time, and what measures are effective (or ineffective) in combatting hate crime. Currently, 30 states and D.C. have laws requiring some degree of state-based data collection about hate crimes. Importantly, data collection requirements can include more or fewer categories (e.g., sexual orientation) than the state’s main hate crime law, and data collection requirements can exist even in states without a hate crime law (e.g., Indiana). The below map shows both what states require hate crimes data collection, and of those states, which specifically require data collection about hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
United States Map
  • State requires hate crime data collection, including for crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity(17 states, 0 territories + D.C.)
  • State requires hate crime data collection, including for crimes based on sexual orientation (8 states, 0 territories)
  • State requires hate crime data collection, but does not mention crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity (5 states, 0 territories)
  • State does not require hate crime data collection(20 states, 5 territories)
  • State requires hate crime data collection but not for crimes based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity, even though the state’s main hate crime law enumerates sexual orientation and/or gender identity (see note)(2 states, 0 territories)
  • State requires hate crime data collection, but relies only on voluntary reporting from law enforcement agencies, meaning data collection may be limited (4 states, 0 territories + D.C.)
*Note: Indiana does not have a hate crime law, but it does require data collection about hate crimes, including based on sexual orientation. Kentucky’s hate crime law includes hate crimes based on sexual orientation, but it does not require data collection about hate crimes based on sexual orientation. Utah’s hate crime law includes hate crimes based on both sexual orientation and gender identity, but it does not require data collection about hate crimes based on either category.

 The FBI asks all jurisdictions (e.g., law enforcement agencies and local, county, state governments) to provide data about hate crimes based on all categories included in federal hate crime law, even if federal law is more inclusive than state law. However, very few law enforcement agencies report hate crime data directly to the FBI at all, and governments may only collect or report on categories that their state law requires.

 Read MAP’s report 
Policy Spotlight: Hate Crime Laws (July 2021) for more analysis of the many dimensions of state hate crime laws, the complex patchwork across states, the limitations of hate crime laws, and the potential opportunities for expanding social and policy responses to hate violence.

 Recommended citation: Movement Advancement Project. "Equality Maps: Hate Crime Laws." https://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/hate_crime_laws. Accessed 09/20/2021. 

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.

50%

50 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that require hate crime data collection, including about crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity

24%

24 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that require hate crime data collection, including about crimes based on sexual orientation

7%

7 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that require hate crime data collection, but not about crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity

19%

19 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that do not require hate crime data collection

Hate crime laws, in their current form, rely on law enforcement for responding to hate crime incidents, identifying incidents as hate-motivated, collecting data, connecting victims to needed resources, and more. Some states require law enforcement to receive training about hate crimes, and these trainings commonly include how to correctly identify, appropriately respond to, and accurately collect data and report hate crimes. Importantly, law enforcement training requirements can include more or fewer categories (e.g., crimes based on sexual orientation) than the state’s main hate crime law. The below map shows both what states require law enforcement training about hate crimes, and of those states, which specifically require law enforcement training about hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
United States Map
  • State requires hate crime training for law enforcement, including for crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity(12 states, 0 territories)
  • State requires hate crime training for law enforcement, including for crimes based on sexual orientation (5 states, 0 territories)
  • State requires hate crime training for law enforcement, but does not mention crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity (2 states, 0 territories)
  • State does not require hate crime training for law enforcement(31 states, 5 territories + D.C.)
  • State requires hate crime training for law enforcement but not for crimes based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity, even though the state’s main hate crime law enumerates sexual orientation and/or gender identity (see note)(2 states, 0 territories)
  • State requires hate crime training, but only for prosecuting attorneys and not for police (1 state, 0 territories)
*Note: Kentucky’s hate crime law includes hate crimes based on sexual orientation, but its law enforcement training requirement does not. Oregon’s hate crime law includes hate crimes based on gender identity, but its law enforcement training requirement does not.

 In states without hate crime training requirements, law enforcement may still receive such training, but it is not statutorily required that they do so.

 Read MAP’s report 
Policy Spotlight: Hate Crime Laws (July 2021) for more analysis of the many dimensions of state hate crime laws, the complex patchwork across states, the limitations of hate crime laws, and the potential opportunities for expanding social and policy responses to hate violence.

 Recommended citation: Movement Advancement Project. "Equality Maps: Hate Crime Laws." https://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/hate_crime_laws. Accessed 09/20/2021. 

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.

40%

40 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that require hate crime training for law enforcement, including about crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity

14%

14 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that require hate crime training for law enforcement, including about crimes based on sexual orientation

5%

5 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that require hate crime training for law enforcement, but not about crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity

42%

42 % of LGBTQ population lives in states that do not require hate crime training for law enforcement

Key
  • State has law that only covers sexual orientationLaw covers sexual orientation
  • State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identityLaw covers sexual orientation and gender identity/expression
State Hate Crime Law Data Collection Law Enforcement Training Year Hate Crime Law Passed
  Citations Citations Citations
Alabama
Alaska
American Samoa
Arizona
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
2003
Arkansas
California
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
1999
Colorado
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2005
Connecticut
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2004
Delaware
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
1997 (SO); 2013 (GI)
District of Columbia
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
1989
Florida
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
2001
Georgia
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2020
Guam
Hawaii
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2003
Idaho
Illinois
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2001 (SO); 2016 (GI)
Indiana
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
Iowa
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
2002
Kansas
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
2002
Kentucky
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
2001
Louisiana
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
2002
Maine
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2001
Maryland
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2005
Massachusetts
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2002 (SO); 2011 (GI)
Michigan
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
Minnesota
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
1993
Mississippi
Missouri
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
1999
Montana
Nebraska
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
2002
Nevada
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2001 (SO); 2013 (GI)
New Hampshire
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2002 (SO); 2019 (GI)
New Jersey
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2002 (SO); 2008 (GI)
New Mexico
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2003
New York
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2002 (SO); 2019 (GI)
North Carolina
North Dakota
Northern Mariana Islands
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
2001 (SO); 2008 (GI)
Pennsylvania
Puerto Rico
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Rhode Island
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2001 (SO)
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
2001
Texas
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
2002
U.S. Virgin Islands
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2014
Utah
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2019
Vermont
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2001
Virginia
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
2020
Washington
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
1993 (SO); 2009 (GI)
West Virginia
Wisconsin
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
2002
Wyoming


Data current as of 09/16/2021
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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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