LGBTQ Equality Maps Updates: July 2021
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 July 2021.
Important Updates in the States
- Alaska finalized regulations that remove discriminatory transgender exclusions from the state’s Medicaid program and clarified that Alaska’s Medicaid will now explicitly cover medically necessary care for transgender people.
- Connecticut passed the Connecticut Parentage Act, which modernized many areas of the state’s laws about parenting and family formation, including recognition for parents using assisted reproduction and de facto parent recognition.
- Nevada enacted a law repealing the state’s HIV criminalization statutes, which removes the state’s decades-old laws criminalizing HIV transmission and expands access to HIV prevention.
- Illinois also passed an HIV criminalization repeal bill, but the governor has not yet taken action on the bill.
Multiple states took action to partially restrict conversion “therapy”:
- Michigan’s governor signed an executive directive banning the use of state or federal funds for conversion “therapy.” This does not apply to licensed providers — which do not receive state or federal funds — from engaging in the practice, as in other states.
- North Dakota created regulations banning state-licensed social workers from engaging in the practice. While an important step, these regulations only apply to social workers and not more broadly as in other states.
- Wisconsin’s governor signed an executive order banning the use of state or federal funds for conversion “therapy,” similar to Michigan.
Numerous LGBTQ-inclusive bills became law in Maryland. These developments move Maryland from “medium” to “high” on MAP’s Gender Identity Tally and overall LGBTQ Policy Tally:
- HB231 bans the use of “gay panic” and “trans panic” defenses. Maryland is now the 16th state (including D.C.) to ban the defense.
- HB39 removes the publication requirement for legal name changes.
- HB128 adds “gender expression” to the state’s hate crime law and allows for anti-bias education if convicted of a hate crime.
- HB130 creates a governor’s Commission on LGBTQ Affairs.
In Michigan, the state attorney general issued an opinion ruling unconstitutional the state’s requirement of proof of “sex reassignment surgery” to change the gender marker on a birth certificate. We’ve updated our map to show the removal of that discriminatory requirement, but it is important to note that the state does not yet have a new process in place. When that new process is implemented by the state, we will update the map to reflect those changes.
In New York, the governor signed into law the Gender Recognition Act. This law modernizes many state processes related to identity documentation. These developments move New York to the highest state in our overall LGBTQ Policy Tally. The law takes effect in December 2021 and includes:
- Removing the publication requirement for legal name changes
- Removing requirements for medical “proof” or provider certification as part of the process to change the gender marker on both birth certificates and driver’s licenses
- Allowing people to request court records of name/gender changes be sealed for privacy and safety
- Allowing for gender neutral “X” markers on both birth certificates and driver’s licenses. X options were already available for birth certificates, and were in development for driver’s licenses.
Setbacks in the States
- Bans on transgender youth participation in sports. Florida became the 9th state to ban transgender youth from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity. Florida’s ban is the first explicitly anti-LGBTQ bill passed into law in the state since 1997.
- Ohio became the 6th state to create a religious exemption for medical providers. With this development, more than 1 in 10 LGBTQ people live in a state where they can be denied medical care simply because of who they are.
Advances in Local Communities to Prohibit Discrimination
Local cities and communities continue to make advances in securing vital nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people.
Comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinances were passed in:
A partial nondiscrimination ordinance was passed in:
- Apex, North Carolina: the ordinance includes sexual orientation and gender identity protections in employment and public accommodations but not housing
Ordinances to ban conversion “therapy” were passed in:
Understanding Your Rights in Housing
Zumper, a platform that provides listings of available rental properties and services, unveiled a new feature on July 6th that integrates MAP’s Equality Maps of state nondiscrimination laws. This feature will help prospective renters navigate the layers of housing protections and know their rights as they look for a place to live. See also our similar partnership with Zillow (since 2020) and Trulia (since 2018).
New Report on COVID & the LGBTQI Movement in 2021
We released our latest report in our ongoing work on the impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQI movement and allied organizations. This year, MAP is doing a quarterly pulse survey of organizations and will be releasing corresponding quarterly reports. This report is the first in a series that covers Q1 survey results, which asked organizations to summarize and reflect on their experience of 2020 overall and to describe their financial confidence for the coming year.
To see all of our work related to COVID-18, visit the COVID-19 landing page.