Equality Maps

LGBTQ Equality Maps Updates: October 2023

Movement Advancement Project
4 min readOct 4, 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 over the last month.

▸▸ State Policy Updates

Bans on medical care for transgender youth

See our Equality Map here and our supporting citations and additional information here, including a chronology and details on effective dates, exceptions, lawsuits, and more.

More than 1 in 3 transgender youth live in the 22 states that have enacted bans or restrictions on best practice medical care.

Equality Map: Bans on Best Practice Medical Care for Transgender Youth (via MAP)
  • September 5: In Georgia, the full ban on medically necessary care for transgender youth went into effect. A judge paused their own temporary block on the ban following an Eleventh Circuit ruling. A lawsuit is ongoing.
  • September 14: In North Dakota, a new lawsuit was filed against the state’s ban on best practice medical care for transgender youth.
  • September 27: In Montana, a court temporarily blocked the state’s ban from going into effect.
  • October 1: In Nebraska, the state’s ban went into effect, and it applies to those under age 19. While the law, in theory, allows a pathway for minors to receive gender-affirming medication (but not surgery), the state also released a new set of emergency regulations, effective immediately, with extremely restrictive requirements for doing so. The regulations are temporary while the state prepares a permanent set of requirements, which will be open to public comment.

Bans on transgender kids playing school sports

See our Equality Map here and our supporting citations and additional information here, including a chronology of laws and vetoes, a breakdown of grade applicability, and further analyses.

Twenty-three states have enacted a ban on transgender youth participating in school sports. One in three transgender youth live in these states.

Equality Map: Bans on Transgender Youth Participation in Sports (via MAP)
  • August 31: In Alaska, the state’s Board of Education voted to ban transgender girls from participating in girls’ high school sports, but the state’s attorney general still needs to approve the regulation before it would become official state policy.
    — This comes after the Alaska legislature did not advance a similar ban out of committee in 2023’s legislative session.
    — Our map will be updated if the policy is enacted.

Gender marker changes on birth certificates

See our Equality Map here and our supporting citations and additional information here.

Currently five states do not allow someone to change the gender marker on their birth certificate.

Equality Map: ID Laws and Policies, Birth Certificates (via MAP)
  • September 15: In Kansas, the state’s Department of Health announced that, due to a recent new law defining “sex” in discriminatory ways, the state can no longer issue any gender marker changes for birth certificates.
  • This comes on the heels of a court ruling in August, which effectively allowed the state to no longer abide by a 2019 decision that permitted transgender people to get accurate and updated birth certificates. Legal challenges to the sex definition law are ongoing.

Targeting or restricting drag performances

See our Equality Map here and our supporting citations and additional information here.

In 2023, two states enacted laws that explicitly restrict drag performances. An additional four states have laws about “adult” performances that could be used to target or restrict drag.

Equality Map: Restrictions on Drag Performances (via MAP)
  • September 26: In Texas, a judge permanently blocked the state’s law targeting drag, ruling it unconstitutional. The state will likely appeal the decision.

Banning the use of “gay panic” / “trans panic” defenses in courtrooms

See our Equality Map here and our supporting citations and additional information here.

  • September 25: Delaware became the 18th state (including Washington, D.C.) to ban these defenses. Now more than four in 10 (44%) LGBTQ adults live in states with these bans.
Equality Map: “Gay/Trans Panic” Defenses (via MAP)

▸▸ MAP Policy Research Updates

MAP released its latest report in the ongoing “Under Fire” series, which connects the dots about the many and widespread attacks on LGBTQ people in recent years.

Under Fire: Banning Medical Care and Legal Recognition for Transgender People” illustrates how recent attacks on transgender youth’s access to medical care are only the tip of the iceberg of a broader, coordinated effort against transgender people of all ages.

This fifth “Under Fire” report identifies five core tactics opponents are using in their attempts to erase transgender people from public life:

  • Banning healthcare for transgender youth
  • Banning health care or severely restricting health care for transgender adults
  • Limiting transgender people’s ability to live openly and participate in daily life
  • Rolling back legal recognition and protections
  • Criminalizing and harassing supporters of transgender people



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.