LGBTQ Equality Maps Updates: January 2023
MAP’s Equality Maps provide a detailed snapshot of the current state of LGBTQ laws and policies in the United States. In this regularly changing landscape, these are the state and local policy updates as of January 2023.
▸▸ State Policy Updates
(The links in the policy updates below take you to relevant coverage, the Equality Map for an issue, or the Equality Profile for a state.)
- In January, Arizona’s newly elected Democratic governor, Katie Hobbs, issued an executive order expressly prohibiting discrimination against state employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
A 2003 executive order explicitly covered sexual orientation in Arizona, but gender identity was not protected until a 2020 interpretation of the state’s law prohibiting discrimination based on sex. These interpretive protections are now strengthened and clarified by the governor’s explicit prohibition.
- Nevada voters approved a constitutional Equal Rights Amendment in the November 2022 general election which, among other things, enshrined nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity into the state’s constitution. These already existed in state law via legislation, but the November vote strengthens the existing protections.
- Similarly, a state panel in Pennsylvania approved new and more inclusive definitions of sex in the state’s nondiscrimination regulations to specifically include sexual orientation and gender identity. This affirms the existing interpretation of state law first issued by the state’s Human Rights Commission in 2018 and strengthens existing protections.
Identity document laws and policies
In Indiana, a second court ruling found that the state’s stated process for amending birth certificates (which requires a court order) does not apply to gender marker changes, and that Indiana courts therefore lack the authority to order gender marker changes. This follows a previous ruling in May 2022.
Identity Document Laws and Policies
Driver's license policies govern the process by which a person can change the gender marker on their driver's license…
We’ve updated our Equality Map for identity documents to reflect that the current process is therefore unclear or unknown in Indiana. There is a related case pending before the state Supreme Court, and the state’s attorney general is pushing the Court to take the case and affirm that state courts cannot order gender marker changes. Local reporting also states that the state legislature may take up the issue in 2023.
Many states have already pre-filed dozens of anti-LGBTQ bills ahead of the 2023 session, which we expect to be even worse than this past year for anti-LGBTQ — and especially anti-trans — legislation.
SB129, an Oklahoma bill introduced in early January, prohibits medical professionals from providing gender-affirming care to anyone under 26.
▸▸ Local Level Policy Updates
Comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinances — covering both sexual orientation and gender identity in all three of employment, housing, and public accommodations — were passed in:
- Chandler, Arizona — Approved in December, this is the first ordinance passed in Arizona in 2022, and with a population of over 279,000, 50% of Arizona’s population is now covered by local nondiscrimination ordinances.
- Fairmont, West Virginia — Passed in December, this is West Virginia’s third ordinance enacted in 2022. Now, 13% of the state population is protected through local ordinances.
- Casper, Wyoming — Passed in December, this is the third* LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance passed statewide, following Jackson in 2018 and Laramie in 2015. The city of Casper alone covers about 10% of the state population, and with the city’s newly enacted ordinance, 17% of Wyoming’s population is now covered by local nondiscrimination ordinances. This ordinance also includes hate crimes language, which especially notable given that Wyoming is one of only four states without any hate crimes law.
* Note: it has been inaccurately reported that Casper is the fourth city in Wyoming with such an ordinance. The other city being referred to is Cheyenne, which passed a hate crimes ordinance earlier in 2022; however, Cheyenne’s ordinance covers only hate crimes and does not include nondiscrimination protections. The state of Wyoming lacks a hate crime law and also lacks LGBTQ protections in its nondiscrimination law. While all four cities have taken steps to address these gaps in state law, their ordinances are not all the same.
As of January 1, 2023, at least 374 municipalities fully and explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in private employment, housing, and public accommodations. This is a notable increase from 334 municipalities at the beginning of 2021, and at least 363 at the beginning of 2022.
This only includes municipalities with fully comprehensive protections in states that do not already have statewide protections. This statistic does not include, for example, cities in California that also have local ordinances, given California’s state level protections. This count also does not include cities that only have protections based only on sexual orientation but not gender identity, or only in housing but not private employment and public accommodations, for example.
▸▸ MAP Policy Research Updates
In November 2022, MAP released two reports covering: the landscape of ID document laws and policies and the state of LGBTQ Community Centers in the U.S.
The ID Divide: How Barriers to ID Impact Different Communities and Affect Us All
MAP’s new report details the many overlapping barriers to obtaining an ID or accurate ID, and how these barriers significantly impact people’s ability to access basic needs and essential services, move through their daily lives, and participate in civic life — as well as the broader harms to public health and safety.
The report provides a robust cross-population analysis, illustrating how barriers to ID affect us all but impact specific communities in different ways. Highlights of the report include:
- Systemic solutions to remove barriers and improve access to IDs, and clear, achievable ID policies that promote public safety and good governance while still ensuring that people can have their basic needs met and have an equal opportunity to participate in civic and everyday life.
- Alongside the report, we also released seven standalone factsheets detailing the barriers to ID and harms caused to specific communities (though recognizing these communities overlap, and that there are many more communities also affected by barriers to ID). Find those and more here.
Read the full report here. You can also learn more about the report in our press release and find other ID-related content at our Identity Documents issue page.
2022 LGBTQ Community Center Survey Report
In partnership with CenterLink, MAP published its eighth LGBTQ Community Center Survey Report in a series dating back to 2008.
2022 was a record-breaking year, with more than 208 centers participating across 45 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico — our highest participation yet. See below for a few key report highlights:
- In 2021, these centers collectively served nearly 52,000 people every week, or over 2.7 million people over the year.
- Overall, 71% of centers say that in the last two years, they have experienced anti-LGBTQ threats or harassment. In open-ended comments, multiple centers said these threats and harassment specifically targeted their youth programs and/or the staff working on youth programming.
- Virtually all (97%) of centers engage in advocacy, including 95% working at the local level and 91% working at the state level. The majority of all centers said they engage in supporting pro-LGBTQ legislation or working against anti-LGBTQ legislation, among many other forms of advocacy and civic engagement.