MAP’s interactive LGBTQ Equality Maps provide a comprehensive look at the current state of laws and policies impacting LGBTQ people across the United States. The Equality Maps offer a state-by-state comparison of the policy landscape and gaps in protections for LGBTQ people across the country.
To keep you informed on this regularly changing landscape, here are the updates as of September 2021.
Important Updates in the States
- New Hampshire updated its process for changing the gender marker on driver’s licenses, removing the medical certification requirement for gender marker updates.
- In West Virginia, a 2020 court ruling effectively prevented people from updating the gender marker on a birth certificate, despite the fact that state code outlines a process for correcting birth certificates. Now, the ACLU of West Virginia is suing to restore that right. We will keep our identity document map on birth certificate laws updated as the case progresses.
Advances in Local Communities to Prohibit Discrimination
- Athens, Georgia: the first municipality in the state to pass an ordinance in 2021
- Winston-Salem, North Carolina: this ordinance creates new protections in employment and public accommodations for sexual orientation, gender identity, and more (Winston-Salem added sexual orientation and gender identity protections in housing earlier this year)
Partial nondiscrimination ordinances were also passed in several North Carolina municipalities:
- Charlotte: sexual orientation and gender identity protections in employment and public accommodations but not housing
- Chatham County: sexual orientation and gender identity protections in employment and public accommodations but not housing
- Wilmington: sexual orientation and gender identity protections in public accommodations only
Local-level bans on conversion “therapy” were passed in:
ICYMI: New Equality Maps
We’ve added several new Equality Maps this year:
- Parental opt-out laws: this map shows state laws that allow parents to opt their children out of LGBTQ-inclusive school curricula
- Hate crime data collection: this map shows whether states’ hate crime laws require data collection and whether they specifically include data collection on anti-LGBTQ hate crimes
- Hate crime training for law enforcement: this map shows whether states’ hate crime laws require training for law enforcement and whether that training specifically includes training on anti-LGBTQ hate crimes
- Bans on best practice medical care for transgender youth
New MAP Blog Post: LGBTQ Data Collection by the U.S. Census
For the first time ever, the U.S. Census Bureau included questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in the Household Pulse Survey. With data collected and released every two weeks, the survey is designed to provide quick information about how people in the United States are weathering the pandemic.
When the first phase of data including SOGI questions was released, MAP published a blog post highlighting topline findings. As expected and as shown in other research, LGBTQ people are being hit harder by the pandemic — from job loss and food insecurity to housing insecurity and mental health challenges. These results are consistent with the data in MAP’s December 2020 report, The Disproportionate Impacts of COVID-19 on LGBTQ Households in the U.S.
While these Census Bureau pulse survey data reveal the struggles facing LGBTQ people across the country, the data release itself is an exciting moment: it highlights the power and importance of asking questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in federal surveys and opens the door for continued advocacy for inclusive data collection.