LGBTQ Equality Maps Updates: October 2022

Movement Advancement Project
4 min readOct 14, 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 landscape, these are the state and local policy updates as of October 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.)

Transgender youth inclusion and sports participation bans

In Virginia, the governor rescinded earlier guidance about the inclusion and treatment of transgender children in schools. Instead, the governor and his administration issued new guidelines stripping transgender students of their previous rights and protections.

There is currently an open public comment period where the state is accepting feedback on these new guidelines. Equality Virginia is collecting comments here through Wednesday, October 26. More information about the new guidelines is also available at that Equality Virginia link.

In Montana, a judge blocked the state’s ban on transgender athletes, but only as the law applies to college sports. The ban for K-12 remains in effect for the time being.

Identity document laws and policies

In Montana, the state continues to fight against allowing people to update their birth certificates. In last month’s update, the state was refusing to allow any gender marker changes at all, even defying a court’s order otherwise.

At the moment — and under a repeated judicial order to do so — the state is providing a simple form to update birth certificates. However, news reports indicate an approximate 6-month wait for such applications to be processed, and the state has already asked the Montana Supreme Court to suspend the lower court’s orders to allow birth certificate updates. (For a more detailed play-by-play and additional links, see our map citations here.)

In good news, in West Virginia, we learned that the state is now allowing people to update the gender marker on their birth certificate using only a simple form, without any surgical requirement or court order.

Some recent history — previously, West Virginia’s law clearly allowed for gender updates with a court order, but in 2020, a state court ruled that these lower courts did not have the authority to order the state’s Department of Health & Human Resources (DHHR) to change the gender marker on a birth certificate, in effect disallowing gender marker changes entirely.

In 2021, this ruling was appealed by the ACLU in Hersom v. Crouch, and as of May 2022, the state DHHR issued a new form allowing individuals to update their birth certificates. The court case is now on temporary pause while the parties discuss a potential settlement.

Gender-affirming care

Oklahoma passed a law that provides over $108 million in federal COVID relief money to the state’s University of Oklahoma medical system — but only if the hospital system stops providing best-practice, gender-affirming care to transgender people under age 18.

The medical system has agreed to do so for those under 18, though it still provides care for those 18 and older. This legislation does not ban best-practice care statewide, but it does reflect a statewide effort to restrict best-practice gender-affirming care to some degree, so we’ve updated our map to reflect this.

▸▸ MAP Policy Research Updates

With less than a month until the midterm elections, MAP’s recent report on election security is a timely resource.

The brief, titled Five Approaches to Actually Secure U.S. Elections, is produced by Democracy Maps. It highlights five policies that actually strengthen election security and integrity, and further shows the current state-by-state landscape of each of these policies, which include: modernizing voter registration, protecting election officials from threats, and strategies for secure mail voting.

Read more in our press release or view the full report.

▸▸ Local Level Policy Updates

Nondiscrimination ordinances

Comprehensive nondiscrimination ordinances — covering both sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations — were passed in:

  • Brownsville, Texas: this is the 7th municipality in the state with a comprehensive ordinance
  • Monongah, West Virginia: the 17th municipality in the state with an ordinance.

Local-level conversion “therapy” bans

Just this week, a local-level ban on conversion “therapy” was passed in Cleveland, Ohio, becoming the 10th city in the state to ban this practice, and the 3rd city in the state to ban it this year alone.

This also means that now 18% of the Ohio state population lives in an area with a local-level ban on conversion “therapy.”

▸▸ Take Action

--

--

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.