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Regional

The lives and experiences of LGBTQ people across the United States varies based on where they live. For example, legal and legislative progress on issues affecting LGBTQ people has not advanced equally across the United States. There are variations from state to state and region to region. Positive policy innovations in one state or region may spur similar actions in others. Other states may follow suit with protective laws, but still others may choose instead to respond with retaliatory or harmful efforts. Regionally, states in the Northeast and West are more likely to have high LGBTQ policy tallies, while states in the Midwest and Southern regions of the country are more likely to have negative or low tallies.

This page houses resources dedicated to highlighting regional differences for LGBTQ progress across the United States and U.S. territories.

Related Resources

Charts

State Policy Tallies

Policy Tallies provide an overview of laws and polices that exist in each state. 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 the Ability for Transgender People to Correct the Gender Marker on Identity Documents.

Report

Telling a New Southern Story: LGBTQ Resilience, Resistance, and Leadership

July 2020 - This report explores the unique experiences of LGBTQ Southerners and the innovative ways they build community, provide direct support, and make cultural and political change in the region.

REPORT

LGBTQ Policy Spotlight: Mapping LGBTQ Equality in the U.S. South

May 2020 - This report details how a dearth of progressive laws and policies in 14 Southern states has led to distinct challenges along with unique opportunities for advancing legal equality for LGBTQ people in the region.

Report

Mapping LGBTQ Equality: 2010 to 2020

February 2020 - This report offers a fresh perspective on the current legal status of LGBTQ people and tallies nearly 40 LGBTQ-related laws and policies across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories.

Report

Where We Call Home: Transgender People in Rural America (Full Report)

November 2019 - This report includes original analysis of the unique challenges and opportunities for transgender people in rural America.

Report

Where We Call Home: LGBT People of Color in Rural America (Full Report)

September 2019 - This report examines the unique challenges of LGBT people of color in rural America and highlights distinct experiences across different communities of color.

Report

LGBT Policy Spotlight: LGBT Equality in the U.S. Territories

June 2019 - The United States' long history of territorial expansion has resulted in a truly complicated system of governance for territory residents, where even the U.S. Constitution doesn’t always apply. Examining each of the five territories across the more than 38 laws and policies tracked by MAP offers just one metric of LGBT people’s experiences in these territories.

Report

Where We Call Home: LGBT People in Rural America (Full Report)

April 2019 - This report examines the experiences of LGBT people in rural America and why they live there. It also analyzes the social and political landscape of rural America and offers a robust set of recommendations for improving the lives of all rural residents, including LGBT people.

REPORT

Where We Call Home: LGBT People in Rural America (Executive Summary)

April 2019 - Executive summary of lead report examining the experiences of LGBT people in rural America and why they live there. It also analyzes the social and political landscape of rural America and offers a robust set of recommendations for improving the lives of all rural residents, including LGBT people.


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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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