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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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Momentum Report

The Bottom Line

MAP’s Momentum Report tracks indicators of the LGBT movement’s success in the pursuit of legal and social equality for LGBT Americans. This special edition examines some of the highlights and lowlights in the journey towards LGBT equality over the past year. The report examines several areas of protection for LGBT people: marriage, health, transgender equality, and other progress. It also provides an overview of some of the work left to be done. This year, the report also contains a timeline of some of the important events that occurred throughout the year.

For a more comprehensive timeline of the events in LGBT equality in 2014, click here.

Download This Report

Abstract

The special 2014 edition of MAP’s Momentum Report, produced biennially since 2007, offers a snapshot of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement’s stunning victories over the past year, and the widespread inequality LGBT Americans continue to face.

The unprecedented progress on marriage has led to a widespread impression that nationwide equality for LGBT people is imminent. A closer look at the full range of LGBT rights at all levels of American society, however, reveals a different picture. With the freedom to marry progressing so swiftly through the courts, same-sex couples can now marry in a number of states that otherwise have almost no legal equality for LGBT people. What this means is that a worker can get married over the weekend, then be fired on Monday because of his or her sexual orientation. Meanwhile, in over 30 states, a person can be denied service in a restaurant or denied housing because they are transgender.

Note that special edition of the Momentum Report is not an exhaustive detailing of the progress made at every level in every area of life—nor the policy and societal changes needed to achieve full equality.

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