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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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Snapshot: LGBT Equality by State

This map shows the overall policy tallies for each state and the District of Columbia. A state’s “policy tally” counts the number of laws and policies within the state that help drive equality for LGBT people. The major categories of laws covered by the policy tally include: Marriage and Relationship Recognition, Adoption and Parenting, Non-Discrimination, Safe Schools, Health and Safety, and Identity Documents.  Click on any state to view its detailed policy tally and state profile.
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
  • High Overall Policy Tally (18 states, 1 territory + D.C.)
  • Medium Overall Policy Tally (6 states, 0 territories)
  • Low Overall Policy Tally (22 states, 4 territories)
  • Negative Overall Policy Tally (4 states, 0 territories)
Note that the tallies look only at existing laws—they do not look at the social climate, nor do they take into account implementation of each state’s laws. The tally also does not reflect the efforts of advocates and/or opportunities for future change. States with low tallies might shift rapidly with an influx of resources, whereas those states with high tallies might continue to expand equality for LGBT people in ways that can provide models for other states.


Sexual Orientation TallyGender Identity TallyTotal Tally
High11 to 209 to 20.520 to 40.5
Medium5 to 10.994 to 8.999 to 19.99
Low0 to 4.990 to 3.990 to 8.99
Negative< 0<0<0

Recommended citation:
Movement Advancement Project. "Equality Maps: Overall Policy Tally." http://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/legal_equality_by_state (date of access).


Percent of Adult LGBT Population Covered by Laws

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

46%

46 % of the LGBT population lives in states with high overall policy tallies

10%

10 % of LGBT population lives in states with medium overall policy tallies

38%

38 % of LGBT population lives in states with low overall policy tallies

6%

6 % of LGBT population lives in states with negative overall policy tallies

Click on any state to view its detailed policy tally.
United States Map
  • High Sexual Orientation Policy Tally (19 states, 1 territory + D.C.)
  • Medium Sexual Orientation Policy Tally (9 states, 1 territory)
  • Low Sexual Orientation Policy Tally (22 states, 3 territories)
  • Negative Sexual Orientation Policy Tally ( states,  territories)
NOTE: This tally includes laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation. The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction (or lack thereof) to people. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily target, whether for protection or harm, lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. Transgender people can also be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.


Sexual Orientation Tally
High11 to 20
Medium5 to 10.99
Low0 to 4.99
Negative<0
Recommended citation:
Movement Advancement Project. "Equality Maps: Overall Policy Tally." http://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/legal_equality_by_state (date of access).

Percent of Adult LGBT Population Covered by Laws

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

47%

47 % of the LGBT population lives in states with high sexual orientation policy tallies

21%

21 % of LGBT population lives in states with medium sexual orientation policy tallies

32%

32 % of LGBT population lives in states with low sexual orientation policy tallies

0%

0 % of LGBT population lives in states with negative sexual orientation policy tallies

Click on any state to view its detailed policy tally.
United States Map
  • High Gender Identity Policy Tally (18 states, 1 territory + D.C.)
  • Medium Gender Identity Policy Tally (6 states, 0 territories)
  • Low Gender Identity Policy Tally (10 states, 2 territories)
  • Negative Gender Identity Policy Tally (16 states, 2 territories)
NOTE: This tally includes laws that explicitly mention gender identity and/or expression. “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, all of which can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation. Transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or something else. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily target, whether for protection 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.


Gender Identity Tally
High9 to 20.5
Medium4 to 8.99
Low0 to 3.99
Negative<0

Recommended citation:
Movement Advancement Project. "Equality Maps: Overall Policy Tally." http://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/legal_equality_by_state (date of access).

Percent of Adult LGBT Population Covered by Laws

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

45%

45 % of the LGBT population lives in states with high gender identity policy tallies

9%

9 % of LGBT population lives in states with medium gender identity policy tallies

19%

19 % of LGBT population lives in states with low gender identity policy tallies

27%

27 % of LGBT population lives in states with negative gender identity policy tallies

 State     
Relationship and
Parental Recognition
Non–Discrimination
Religious Exemption Laws
LGBT Youth
Healthcare
Criminal
Justice
Identity
Documents
1 Alabama SO 2/8 0/4.5 -0.75/-1.25 -0.5/3.5 0/2 -0.5/2 -- 0.25 -2.75 -2.50
GI 0/2 0/4.5 -0.75/-0.75 -0.5/3.5 0/4.5 -0.5/2 -1/4
2 Alaska SO 2/8 1.25/4.5 0/-1.25 0/3.5 0/2 -0.5/2 -- 2.75 1.00 3.75
GI 0/2 0.75/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 -1/4.5 -0.5/2 1.75/4
3 American Samoa SO 2/8 0/4.5 0/-1.25 0/3.5 0/2 0/2 -- 2.00 0.00 2.00
GI 0/2 0/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 0/4.5 0/2 0/4
4 Arizona SO 2.5/8 1.25/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 0/3.5 1/2 0.75/2 -- 5.25 -0.50 4.75
GI 0/2 0.75/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 0/3.5 0/4.5 -0.25/2 -0.75/4
5 Arkansas SO 2.5/8 -0.5/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 1/3.5 0.5/2 -0.5/2 -- 2.75 0.25 3.00
GI 0/2 -0.5/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 1/3.5 -0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 1/4
6 California SO 7/8 3.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.5/3.5 2/2 1.5/2 -- 17.50 18.50 36.00
GI 2/2 3.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3.5/3.5 4/4.5 1.5/2 4/4
7 Colorado SO 4/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.25/3.5 1.5/2 0.75/2 -- 14.00 14.75 28.75
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3.25/3.5 3.5/4.5 0.75/2 2.75/4
8 Connecticut SO 5/8 4.5/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 3.25/3.5 1/2 1.75/2 -- 15.25 15.00 30.25
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 3.25/3.5 3/4.5 1.75/2 2.75/4
9 Delaware SO 3.5/8 3.5/4.5 0/-1.25 2.25/3.5 2/2 0.5/2 -- 11.75 10.25 22.00
GI 0/2 3.5/4.5 0/-0.75 2/3.5 3.5/4.5 0.5/2 0.75/4
10 District of Columbia SO 7.5/8 3.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.25/3.5 2/2 1/2 -- 17.25 18.25 35.50
GI 2/2 3.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3.25/3.5 4.5/4.5 1/2 4/4
11 Florida SO 2/8 1.5/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 0.5/3.5 1/2 0.5/2 -- 5.25 3.25 8.50
GI 0/2 1.5/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 0.25/3.5 0/4.5 -0.5/2 2.25/4
12 Georgia SO 2/8 0/4.5 0/-1.25 0.5/3.5 1/2 -0.5/2 -- 3.00 -4.00 -1.00
GI 0/2 0/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 -0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 -3/4
13 Guam SO 5/8 1.5/4.5 0/-1.25 1/3.5 1/2 -0.5/2 -- 8.00 -0.50 7.50
GI 1/2 1.5/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 -3/4
14 Hawaii SO 3/8 3.5/4.5 0/-1.25 2.75/3.5 2/2 2/2 -- 13.25 15.50 28.75
GI 0/2 3.5/4.5 0/-0.75 2.75/3.5 4.5/4.5 2/2 2.75/4
15 Idaho SO 2.5/8 0.75/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 0.25/3.5 0/2 -0.5/2 -- 2.75 0.00 2.75
GI 0/2 0.75/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 0.25/3.5 -0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 0.25/4
16 Illinois SO 3/8 4.5/4.5 -0.5/-1.25 3.5/3.5 2/2 1.5/2 -- 14.00 14.50 28.50
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 -0.5/-0.75 3.5/3.5 3.5/4.5 1.5/2 2/4
17 Indiana SO 3/8 1.25/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 0.25/3.5 1/2 0.5/2 -- 5.75 2.75 8.50
GI 0/2 1.25/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 0.25/3.5 1/4.5 -0.5/2 1/4
18 Iowa SO 2/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 2.25/3.5 1/2 0.5/2 -- 10.25 4.75 15.00
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 2.25/3.5 0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 -2/4
19 Kansas SO 3/8 0.5/4.5 -0.75/-1.25 0/3.5 0/2 0.5/2 -- 3.25 0.75 4.00
GI 0/2 0.5/4.5 -0.5/-0.75 0/3.5 0/4.5 -0.5/2 1.25/4
20 Kentucky SO 3/8 1.25/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 0/3.5 1/2 0.5/2 -- 5.50 0.50 6.00
GI 0/2 1.25/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 0/3.5 1/4.5 -0.5/2 -1/4
21 Louisiana SO 2/8 0/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 -0.25/3.5 0.5/2 0.5/2 -- 2.50 -2.25 0.25
GI 0/2 0/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 -0.5/3.5 0/4.5 -0.5/2 -1/4
22 Maine SO 5.5/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.25/3.5 0.5/2 2/2 -- 15.75 10.00 25.75
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3.25/3.5 0.5/4.5 1/2 0.75/4
23 Maryland SO 5.5/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 2.25/3.5 1/2 0.5/2 -- 13.75 13.50 27.25
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 2/3.5 3.5/4.5 0.5/2 3/4
24 Massachusetts SO 7.5/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.25/3.5 1/2 0.75/2 -- 17.00 14.00 31.00
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3.25/3.5 3.5/4.5 0.75/2 2/4
25 Michigan SO 4/8 2.75/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 1/3.5 0.5/2 -0.5/2 -- 7.50 6.75 14.25
GI 2/2 2.75/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 1/3.5 2.5/4.5 -0.5/2 -0.75/4
26 Minnesota SO 3/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 2.5/3.5 1.5/2 0.5/2 -- 12.00 14.25 26.25
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 2.25/3.5 4/4.5 0.5/2 3/4
27 Mississippi SO 2.5/8 0/4.5 -1.25/-1.25 -0.25/3.5 1/2 -0.5/2 -- 1.50 0.00 1.50
GI 0/2 0/4.5 -0.75/-0.75 -0.25/3.5 0/4.5 -0.5/2 1.5/4
28 Missouri SO 2/8 1/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 -0.25/3.5 0.5/2 0.5/2 -- 3.50 -0.50 3.00
GI 0/2 0.5/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 -0.5/3.5 -0.5/4.5 0.5/2 -0.25/4
29 Montana SO 3/8 0.5/4.5 0/-1.25 0.25/3.5 0.5/2 -0.5/2 -- 3.75 4.00 7.75
GI 0/2 0.5/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 3/4.5 -0.5/2 1/4
30 Nebraska SO 2.5/8 0/4.5 0/-1.25 0/3.5 0.5/2 0.5/2 -- 3.50 -3.50 0.00
GI 0/2 0/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 -1.5/4.5 -0.5/2 -1.5/4
31 Nevada SO 4/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 2.5/3.5 2/2 1.5/2 -- 14.50 15.50 30.00
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 2.5/3.5 4/4.5 1.5/2 3/4
32 New Hampshire SO 2.5/8 3.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.25/3.5 0.5/2 0.75/2 -- 10.50 8.50 19.00
GI 0/2 3.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3/3.5 1.5/4.5 -0.25/2 0.75/4
33 New Jersey SO 7/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.25/3.5 0.5/2 0.5/2 -- 15.75 14.00 29.75
GI 2/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3.25/3.5 3/4.5 0.5/2 0.75/4
34 New Mexico SO 3.5/8 4.5/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 3/3.5 0.5/2 1/2 -- 12.25 11.25 23.50
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 2.25/3.5 2/4.5 1/2 1.75/4
35 New York SO 6.5/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.5/3.5 2/2 1.5/2 -- 18.00 16.00 34.00
GI 2/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3.25/3.5 3.5/4.5 1.5/2 1.25/4
36 North Carolina SO 2.5/8 0/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 1.5/3.5 1/2 -0.5/2 -- 4.25 0.75 5.00
GI 0/2 0/4.5 0/-0.75 1.5/3.5 0/4.5 -0.5/2 -0.25/4
37 North Dakota SO 2.5/8 0/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 0.25/3.5 0.5/2 -0.5/2 -- 2.50 -2.25 0.25
GI 0/2 0/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 0/3.5 -0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 -1/4
38 Northern Mariana Islands SO 2/8 0.5/4.5 0/-1.25 0.5/3.5 0.5/2 0/2 -- 3.50 -2.50 1.00
GI 0/2 0/4.5 0/-0.75 0.5/3.5 0/4.5 0/2 -3/4
39 Ohio SO 2.5/8 1.25/4.5 0/-1.25 0.25/3.5 0.5/2 -0.5/2 -- 4.00 -0.75 3.25
GI 0/2 1.25/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 -1/4.5 -0.5/2 -0.5/4
40 Oklahoma SO 3.5/8 0/4.5 -0.5/-1.25 -0.5/3.5 1/2 -0.5/2 -- 3.00 -2.00 1.00
GI 0/2 0/4.5 -0.5/-0.75 -0.5/3.5 0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 -1/4
41 Oregon SO 6/8 3.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.25/3.5 1.5/2 0.75/2 -- 15.00 15.25 30.25
GI 0/2 3.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3/3.5 4/4.5 0.75/2 4/4
42 Pennsylvania SO 3/8 2.75/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 1.5/3.5 1/2 -0.5/2 -- 7.50 7.50 15.00
GI 0/2 2.75/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 0.75/3.5 3/4.5 -0.5/2 1.75/4
43 Puerto Rico SO 5/8 1.5/4.5 0/-1.25 2.5/3.5 1.5/2 1/2 -- 11.50 9.75 21.25
GI 0/2 1.5/4.5 0/-0.75 2.5/3.5 2/4.5 1/2 2.75/4
44 Rhode Island SO 6/8 4.5/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 2.5/3.5 2/2 2/2 -- 16.75 16.00 32.75
GI 2/2 4.5/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 2.25/3.5 4.5/4.5 2/2 1/4
45 South Carolina SO 2.5/8 0/4.5 -0.5/-1.25 -0.5/3.5 1/2 -0.5/2 -- 2.00 -1.00 1.00
GI 0/2 0/4.5 -0.5/-0.75 -0.5/3.5 0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 0/4
46 South Dakota SO 2/8 0/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 -0.25/3.5 0/2 -0.5/2 -- 1.00 -2.00 -1.00
GI 0/2 0/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 -0.25/3.5 0/4.5 -0.5/2 -1/4
47 Tennessee SO 2.5/8 -0.5/4.5 -0.5/-1.25 0.25/3.5 0/2 0.5/2 -- 2.25 -3.00 -0.75
GI 0/2 -0.5/4.5 -0.5/-0.75 0.25/3.5 -1.5/4.5 0.25/2 -1/4
48 Texas SO 2.5/8 0/4.5 -0.5/-1.25 -0.5/3.5 1/2 0.75/2 -- 3.25 -0.75 2.50
GI 0/2 0/4.5 -0.5/-0.75 -0.5/3.5 0.5/4.5 -0.25/2 0/4
49 U.S. Virgin Islands SO 2.5/8 0.5/4.5 0/-1.25 1/3.5 0/2 0.5/2 -- 4.50 0.00 4.50
GI 0/2 0.5/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 0/4.5 0.5/2 -1/4
50 Utah SO 2/8 2.5/4.5 0/-1.25 1.25/3.5 0/2 0.5/2 -- 6.25 5.00 11.25
GI 0/2 2.5/4.5 0/-0.75 0.25/3.5 0/4.5 0.5/2 1.75/4
51 Vermont SO 5/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.25/3.5 2/2 1/2 -- 15.75 16.25 32.00
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3.25/3.5 4/4.5 1/2 3.5/4
52 Virginia SO 2/8 0.5/4.5 -0.5/-1.25 0/3.5 0.5/2 -0.5/2 -- 2.00 0.75 2.75
GI 0/2 0.5/4.5 -0.5/-0.75 0/3.5 0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 0.75/4
53 Washington SO 4.5/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.25/3.5 1.5/2 0.5/2 -- 14.25 15.00 29.25
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3.25/3.5 4/4.5 0.5/2 2.75/4
54 West Virginia SO 2.5/8 0/4.5 0/-1.25 1/3.5 0.5/2 -0.5/2 -- 3.50 -1.00 2.50
GI 0/2 0/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 -0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 0/4
55 Wisconsin SO 5/8 3.5/4.5 0/-1.25 1.25/3.5 1/2 0.5/2 -- 11.25 1.25 12.50
GI 0/2 1/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 1.5/4.5 -0.5/2 -0.75/4
56 Wyoming SO 2.5/8 0/4.5 0/-1.25 0.25/3.5 0/2 0/2 -- 2.75 -0.75 2.00
GI 0/2 0/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 -1/4.5 0/2 0.25/4
Data current as of 09/12/2019
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