LGBTQ Equality Maps Updates: July 2022

Movement Advancement Project
4 min readJul 18, 2022

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 landscapes these are the state and local policy updates as of July 2022.

▸▸ State Policy Updates

The links in the policy updates below take you to either the Equality Map for an issue or the Equality Profile for a state.

Numerous anti-LGBTQ laws that were passed earlier this year went into effect on July 1; these laws are already reflected on our maps. The information below reflects new developments over the past month.

Religious exemptions

South Carolina enacted a religious exemption law for medical providers, becoming the seventh state with such a law. This allows medical providers (broadly defined, including hospitals and insurers, among others) to refuse to serve LGBTQ people and other people, if they claim that doing so conflicts with the provider’s religious beliefs.

This moves South Carolina from “low” to “negative” in our overall LGBTQ policy tally.

More than 1 in 8 LGBTQ people now live in state that allows medical providers to refuse care if it conflicts with their religious beliefs.

Equality Map: Religious Exemptions Laws

(For information on the unique experiences of LGBTQ Southerners and the ways they provide direct support and make change in a hostile political climate, see MAP’s report with Campaign for Southern Equality, Telling a New Southern Story: LGBTQ Resilience, Resistance, and Leadership.)

LGBTQ youth

Eighteen states now ban transgender youth participation in sports. This was the first time ever that a Democratic governor has not vetoed such a bill.


Criminal justice

Identity documents

  • In North Carolina, a Lambda Legal lawsuit helped to overturn the state’s previous surgical requirements for people to update the gender marker on birth certificates. The court ruling also specified a new and improved process for updating birth certificates, though the new process is not yet in effect.

    The two decisions in North Carolina move the state from “low” to “fair” on our overall LGBTQ policy tally.

▸▸ Local Level Policy Updates on LGBTQ Equality

Nondiscrimination ordinances

  • A partial nondiscrimination ordinance was passed in: Cary, North Carolina; the the city joined its county’s (Wake County) ordinance, which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment and public accommodations, but not housing.
  • The city council of Lincoln, Nebraska, voted to repeal the comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinance it passed just this past February, in response to a citizen-initiated repeal effort. A group in Lincoln is now pushing for a citywide ballot measure in the November election, hoping to secure LGBTQ-inclusive protections at the ballot box. Aug. 1 is the deadline to get the required number of signatures.

Conversion “therapy” bans

Bans on conversion “therapy” were passed in:

  • Iowa — Linn County (unincorporated areas only)
  • Ohio — Cleveland Heights and Reynoldsburg

MAP Policy Research Updates

As Pride Month wrapped up, MAP released an issue brief comparing how states rank on our LGBTQ Equality Maps and our Democracy Maps. The issue brief analyzes how voting rights and democracy are essential for LGBTQ equality.

Comparing LGBTQ Equality Maps (left) and Democracy Maps (right):

Key takeaways include:

  • States’ scores track fairly closely, with states that do better on LGBTQ laws also generally doing better on election and voting laws.
  • However, among states that score the highest on LGBTQ laws, there is still quite a spread in their election/voting laws.

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Movement Advancement Project

MAP is an independent, nonprofit think tank that provides rigorous research, insight and communications that help speed equality and opportunity for all.