New Democracy Maps

Issue Briefs: Protecting LGBT Workers

The Bottom Line

When LGBT workers go to work each day, they want to be judged on their professionalism, their experience, their performance, and their ability to get the job done. By working hard, meeting their responsibilities and playing by the rules, they strive for a fair chance to achieve a piece of the American Dream. But Americans are shocked to learn that there is no federal law that explicitly protects workers who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender from unfair workplace discrimination, and that in more than half the country—including states like Ohio, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Utah and Florida—such protections are also denied under state law.

In Protecting LGBT Workers, a new series of issue briefs based on A Broken Bargain: Discrimination, Fewer Benefits and More Taxes for LGBT Workers, the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), the Equality Federation, and leading statewide LGBT organizations provide an overview of the unfair treatment faced by hardworking LGBT Americans who continue to lack essential protections against discrimination—and as a result, can still be unfairly fired from their jobs simply because of who they are.

  • Issue Brief: The Need to Update Ohio's Nondiscrimination LawDownload
  • Issue Brief: The Need to Update Pennsylvania's Nondiscrimination LawDownload
  • Issue Brief: The Need to Update Missouri's Nondiscrimination LawDownload
  • Issue Brief: The Need to Update Utah's Nondiscrimination LawDownload
  • Issue Brief: The Need to Update Florida's Nondiscrimination LawDownload

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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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Choose an Issue