LGBTQ Equality Maps Updates: November 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 November 2021.
Important Updates in the States
- Texas became the 10th state overall and the ninth this year to pass a harmful law that bans transgender students from participating in sports. This means that 23% of transgender youth in the U.S. live in a state with this kind of ban that keeps them from playing sports.
- Oklahoma issued its first nonbinary marker on a birth certificate. The Oklahoma State Department of Health also improved its process for changing gender markers on a birth certificate. While the nonbinary “X” option does not yet appear on OSDH’s website, it’s expected to be available soon. Once this option is available to the public, we will update our map to reflect this development. Note: the state’s governor and legislature are both raising opposition to this development, including a forthcoming bill to prevent these nonbinary gender markers.
- In Michigan, the Secretary of State’s office announced that a nonbinary “X” gender marker will be available on driver’s licenses and state ID cards beginning November 10.
- In Mississippi, the State Department of Public Safety rescinded a days-old policy that would have simplified the process for changing the gender marker on driver’s license by removing the requirement for an amended birth certificate.
Advances in Local Communities to Prohibit Discrimination
Local cities and communities continue to make advances in securing vital nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people.
Partial nondiscrimination ordinances were passed in:
- Wake County, North Carolina: employment and public accommodations only
- Raleigh, North Carolina: employment and public accommodations only
Local-level bans on conversion “therapy” were passed in:
Two New Equality Maps
We’ve added two new Equality Maps:
- Jury service nondiscrimination: this map shows whether state laws prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity in jury service.
- LGBTQ-related curricular laws: this map shows three different policies related to school curricula, two of which we were already tracking: parental opt-out laws and “Don’t Say Gay” policies. The third new policy is LGBTQ-inclusive curricular standards, which are laws that explicitly require the state’s curricular standards to include LGBTQ people and history.
We also updated our maps tracking LGBTQ-inclusive data collection. These maps show which states chose to include questions about sexual orientation and transgender status in their state surveys in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We’ve now added an icon to the youth data collection map showing which states also ask questions about gender expression.
ICYMI — MAP’s New Initiative: The Democracy Maps
In partnership with One for Democracy, MAP released the Democracy Maps, which track more than 40 laws and policies around the country related to voting and elections. Similar to our Equality Maps, the Democracy Maps offer a roadmap to understand how states vary in terms of election policies, and what drives those differences.
A companion report, State of Democracy: How Election Laws Differ Around the Country, gives an overview of the Democracy Maps and shows that access to democracy varies dramatically by state and region of the country, with more than three in five voters living in states with sub-par Democracy Tally scores.
This report is the first in a series, and the Democracy Maps will be updated in real-time as states enact new policies. Anticipated topics for future research and maps include campaign finance laws, the impact of restrictive policies on people of color, and protections against voter intimidation, among others. Be sure to sign up for our new Democracy Maps emails for the latest information on our democracy work.