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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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Non-Discrimination Laws

Employment non-discrimination laws protect LGBT people from being unfairly fired, not hired, or discriminated against in the workplace by private employers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. This map shows state non-discrimination laws that explicitly enumerate sexual orientation and/or gender identity as protected classes, as well as states or federal courts that explicitly interpret existing sex protections to include sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Other rights may exist or be recognized where you live (see below); this map is not intended as legal advice or an indication of your rights.
United States Map
Vermont New Hampshire Washington D.C. Maryland Delaware New Jersey Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Alaska Hawaii California Oregon Washington Nevada Utah Arizona Idaho Montana Wyoming Colorado 33 Texas North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Minnesota Iowa Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Mississippi Florida Georgia Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Maine New York Pennsylvania Virginia Vermont New Hampshire
  • State law explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (20 states + D.C.)
  • State explicitly interprets existing prohibition on sex discrimination to include sexual orientation and/or gender identity (see note) (2 states)
  • State law explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation only (2 states)
  • No explicit prohibitions for discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in state law (28 states)
  • State is in a federal circuit that has a ruling finding that discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity violates federal Title VII, which prohibits discrimination based on sex. Visit this page for more information (26 states)
Local ordinances, state laws, federal court rulings, and federal EEOC rulings create a patchwork of employment non-discrimination protections for LGBT people across the country. This map shows state non-discrimination laws that explicitly enumerate sexual orientation and/or gender identity as protected classes, as well as states or federal courts that explicitly interpret existing sex protections to include sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Additionally, multiple rulings by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission show that federal prohibitions against sex discrimination (under Title VII) also prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. However, EEOC rulings are not binding on private employers, and federal courts may rule differently. To view our map on federal court decisions interpreting Title VII's inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity, click here. Given the patchwork of protections and multiple layers of laws, individuals who have experienced discrimination should contact Lambda Legal's Help Desk or otherwise seek legal advice. This map is not intended as legal advice or an indication of your rights.

*Michigan's non-discrimination law does not explicitly enumerate sexual orientation or gender identity, but the Michigan Civil Rights Commission has stated it explicitly interprets the state's existing protections against sex discrimination to include protections for both sexual orientation and gender identity (2018).
*Missouri's Supreme Court is considering two cases regarding whether the state's prohibition on sex discrimination includes discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
*New York's non-discrimination law includes sexual orientation (2002). New York's Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) explicitly interprets the state's existing protections against sex discrimination to include protections for gender identity.  See NYCRR §466.13 (2018).

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

48%

48 % of LGBT population lives in states prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

0%

0 % of LGBT population lives in states explicitly interpreting existing prohibition on sex discrimination to include sexual orientation and/or gender identity

2%

2 % of LGBT population lives in states prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation only

50%

50 % of LGBT population lives in states that do not prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity (including 5% of LGBT population living in states that preempt local nondiscrimination laws)

Housing non-discrimination laws protect LGBT people from being unfairly evicted, denied housing, or refused the ability to rent or buy housing on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. This map shows state housing non-discrimination laws that explicitly enumerate sexual orientation and/or gender identity as protected classes, as well as states that explicitly interpret existing sex protections to include sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Other rights may exist or be recognized where you live (see below); this map is not intended as legal advice or an indication of your rights.
United States Map
Vermont New Hampshire Washington D.C. Maryland Delaware New Jersey Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Alaska Hawaii California Oregon Washington Nevada Utah Arizona Idaho Montana Wyoming Colorado 33 Texas North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Minnesota Iowa Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Mississippi Florida Georgia Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Maine New York Pennsylvania Virginia Vermont New Hampshire
  • State law explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (20 states + D.C.)
  • State explicitly interprets existing prohibition on sex discrimination to include sexual orientation and/or gender identity (see note) (2 states)
  • State law explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation only (2 states)
  • No explicit prohibitions for discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in state law (28 states)
  • State is in a federal circuit that has a ruling finding that discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity violates federal Title VII, which prohibits discrimination based on sex. Visit this page for more information (26 states)
Local ordinances, state laws, federal court rulings, and federal EEOC rulings create a patchwork of non-discrimination protections for LGBT people across the country. This map shows state non-discrimination laws that explicitly enumerate sexual orientation and/or gender identity as protected classes, as well as states or federal courts that explicitly interpret existing sex protections to include sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Given the patchwork of protections and multiple layers of laws, individuals who have experienced discrimination should contact Lambda Legal's Help Desk or otherwise seek legal advice. This map is not intended as legal advice or an indication of your rights.

*Michigan's non-discrimination law does not explicitly enumerate sexual orientation or gender identity, but the Michigan Civil Rights Commission has stated it explicitly interprets the state's existing protections against sex discrimination to include protections for both sexual orientation and gender identity (2018).
*Missouri's Supreme Court is considering two cases regarding whether the state's prohibition on sex discrimination includes discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
*New York's non-discrimination law includes sexual orientation (2002). New York's Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) explicitly interprets the state's existing protections against sex discrimination to include protections for gender identity.  See NYCRR §466.13 (2018).


For additional information, contact the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, the National Center for Transgender Equality,

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

48%

48 % of LGBT population lives in states prohibiting housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

0%

0 % of LGBT population lives in states explicitly interpreting existing prohibition on sex discrimination to include sexual orientation and/or gender identity

2%

2 % of LGBT population lives in states prohibiting housing discrimination based on sexual orientation only

50%

50 % of LGBT population lives in states that do not prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity (including 5% of LGBT population living in states that preempt local nondiscrimination laws)

Public accommodation non-discrimination laws protect LGBT people from being unfairly refused service or entry to, or from facing discrimination in, places accessible to the public on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Public accommodation laws generally cover anywhere someone is when they are not at home, work, or school, including retail stores, restaurants, parks, hotels, doctors’ offices, and banks. This map shows state public accommodation non-discrimination laws that explicitly enumerate sexual orientation and/or gender identity as protected classes, as well as states that explicitly interpret existing sex protections to include sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Other rights may exist or be recognized where you live (see below); this map is not intended as legal advice or an indication of your rights.
United States Map
Vermont New Hampshire Washington D.C. Maryland Delaware New Jersey Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Alaska Hawaii California Oregon Washington Nevada Utah Arizona Idaho Montana Wyoming Colorado 33 Texas North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Minnesota Iowa Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Mississippi Florida Georgia Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Maine New York Pennsylvania Virginia Vermont New Hampshire
  • State law explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (19 states + D.C.)
  • State explicitly interprets existing prohibition on sex discrimination to include sexual orientation and/or gender identity (see note) (2 states)
  • State law explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation only (2 states)
  • No explicit prohibitions for discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in state law (29 states)
  • State is in a federal circuit that has a ruling finding that discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity violates federal Title VII, which prohibits discrimination based on sex. Visit this page for more information (26 states)
Local ordinances, state laws, federal court rulings, and federal EEOC rulings create a patchwork of employment non-discrimination protections for LGBT people across the country. This map shows state non-discrimination laws that explicitly enumerate sexual orientation and/or gender identity as protected classes, as well as states or federal courts that explicitly interpret existing sex protections to include sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Given the patchwork of protections and multiple layers of laws, individuals who have experienced discrimination should contact Lambda Legal's Help Desk or otherwise seek legal advice. This map is not intended as legal advice or an indication of your rights.

*Michigan's non-discrimination law does not explicitly enumerate sexual orientation or gender identity, but the Michigan Civil Rights Commission has stated it explicitly interprets the state's existing protections against sex discrimination to include protections for both sexual orientation and gender identity (2018).
*Missouri's Supreme Court is considering two cases regarding whether the state's prohibition on sex discrimination includes discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
*New York's non-discrimination law includes sexual orientation (2002). New York's Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) explicitly interprets the state's existing protections against sex discrimination to include protections for gender identity.  See NYCRR §466.13 (2018).


For additional information, contact the Center for American Progress.

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

47%

47 % of LGBT population lives in states prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

0%

0 % of LGBT population lives in states explicitly interpreting existing prohibition on sex discrimination to include sexual orientation and/or gender identity

2%

2 % of LGBT population lives in states prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation only

51%

51 % of LGBT population lives in states that do not prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity (including 5% of LGBT population living in states that preempt local nondiscrimination laws)

Credit and lending non-discrimination laws protect LGBT people from being unfairly denied credit and lending services on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. This map shows state credit and lending non-discrimination laws that explicitly enumerate sexual orientation and/or gender identity as protected classes, as well as states that explicitly interpret existing sex protections to include sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Other rights may exist or be recognized where you live (see below); this map is not intended as legal advice or an indication of your rights.

United States Map
Vermont New Hampshire Washington D.C. Maryland Delaware New Jersey Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Alaska Hawaii California Oregon Washington Nevada Utah Arizona Idaho Montana Wyoming Colorado 33 Texas North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Minnesota Iowa Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Mississippi Florida Georgia Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Maine New York Pennsylvania Virginia Vermont New Hampshire
  • Credit non-discrimination law covers sexual orientation and gender identity (14 states)
  • Credit non-discrimination law covers only sexual orientation (0 states)
  • No credit non-discrimination law covering sexual orientation or gender identity (36 states + D.C.)
  • State has law preventing passage or enforcement of local non-discrimination laws
Local ordinances, state laws, federal court decisions, and other federal rulings create a patchwork of non-discrimination protections for LGBT people across the country. This map shows state non-discrimination laws that explicitly enumerate sexual orientation and/or gender identity as protected classes, as well as states or federal courts that explicitly interpret existing sex protections to include sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Additionally, the federal Consumer Finance Protection Board released guidance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but federal courts may rule differently.  Given the patchwork of protections and multiple layers of laws, individuals who have experienced discrimination should contact Lambda Legal's Help Desk or otherwise seek legal advice. This map is not intended as legal advice or an indication of your rights.


Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

28%

28 % of LGBT population lives in states prohibiting credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

0%

0 % of LGBT population lives in states prohibiting credit discrimination based on sexual orientation only

72%

72 % of LGBT population lives in states that do not prohibit credit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity (including 5% of LGBT population living in states that preempt local nondiscrimination laws)

State laws or policies that prohibit discrimination against state employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
United States Map
Vermont New Hampshire Washington D.C. Maryland Delaware New Jersey Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Alaska Hawaii California Oregon Washington Nevada Utah Arizona Idaho Montana Wyoming Colorado 33 Texas North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Minnesota Iowa Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Mississippi Florida Georgia Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Maine New York Pennsylvania Virginia Vermont New Hampshire
  • Public employment non-discrimination policy covers gender identity and sexual orientation (30 states + D.C.)
  • Public employment non-discrimination policy covers only sexual orientation, though federal law offers some protections (see note) (4 states)
  • No employment non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation or gender identity, though federal law offers some protections (see note) (16 states)

Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

67%

67 % of the LGBT population lives in states with policies that protect state employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

5%

5 % of the LGBT population lives in states with policies that protect state employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation only

27%

27 % of the LGBT population lives in states with no state policy prohibiting discrimination in public employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity (including 5% of LGBT population living in states that preempt local nondiscrimination laws)

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 Employment Housing Public
Accommodations
Credit State Employees
  Citations Citations Citations Citations Citations
Alabama
Alaska
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
Arizona
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Colorado
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Delaware
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
District of Columbia
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Indiana
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Iowa
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Kansas
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Kentucky
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Louisiana
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Michigan
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Mississippi
Missouri
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
Montana
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Nebraska
Nevada
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
New Hampshire
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
New Mexico
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
New York
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
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
North Carolina
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
North Dakota
Ohio
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
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 covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Pennsylvania
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Rhode Island
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
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
Vermont
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
Virginia
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
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
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
State has law that covers sexual orientation and gender identity
West Virginia
Wisconsin
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
State has law that only covers sexual orientation
Wyoming
Data current as of 06/21/2018
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