LGBTQ Equality Maps Updates: September 2022

Movement Advancement Project
4 min readSep 16, 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 September 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.)

Identity document laws and policies

In a new District Court ruling, the Montana health department has been ordered to reinstate its previous process for updating birth certificates, which only requires documentation in an affidavit and a gender designation form.

In 2017, the state allowed people to update the gender marker on their birth certificate using only a simple form and an affidavit, with no invasive medical requirements. Then, in 2021, the state legislature passed a law requiring both proof of surgery and a court order.

Earlier this year, a judge temporarily blocked the law while the court determined the law’s legality, and the judge ordered the state to return to its previous policy. Instead of complying with the court’s order, however, the state issued an “emergency order” to prevent transgender people from updating the gender marker under any circumstance, even with proof of surgery and a court order. This past month, the state made that emergency order permanent.

On September 15, the same judge issued another order stating this new rule is unenforceable and again that Montana must revert to its 2017 process, but Montana officials have already released a statement refusing to follow the court’s orders. We will continue to update as this case unfolds.

State-level conversion “therapy” bans

The governor of Pennsylvania issued an executive order partially restricting the practice of conversion “therapy.” The order prohibits the use of state funds for the practice and contains other prohibitions and directives. Read more here.

Transgender youth sports participation bans

A judge issued a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking enforcement of Utah’s ban on transgender students playing sports, in a case brought by ACLU of Utah and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Medicaid coverage and gender-affirming care

A U.S. district judge ruled that the state of West Virginia must cover gender-affirming care in the state’s Medicaid program, as part of a lawsuit brought by Lambda Legal.

In contrast, the state of Florida implemented a new regulation prohibiting coverage of gender-affirming care in the state’s Medicaid program, as part of its ongoing targeting of transgender people. The rule went into effect on August 21, but on September 7, a lawsuit was filed to block this development.

▸▸ MAP Policy Research Updates

As the Respect for Marriage Act moves through Congress, MAP’s report on the landscape of varying state marriage laws around the country remains a timely resource.

Underneath Obergefell explores the patchwork of state-level marriage laws around the country. The report highlights the fact that a majority of states still have existing laws on the books that would ban marriage for same-sex couples — even though those laws are currently unenforceable under the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell.

Read more at the press release here or view the full report here.

▸▸ Local Level Policy Updates

Local-level conversion “therapy” bans

No new local-level conversion “therapy” bans were passed last month; however, see below for updates about existing policies:

Florida: Unfortunately, several jurisdictions — Broward County, Palm Beach County, and the city of Boca Raton — have repealed their local-level bans on conversion “therapy.”

This follows July’s decision by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to effectively leave in place an earlier 2020 ruling that makes the bans unenforceable in that circuit, i.e., Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

While conversion “therapy” is illegal in 20 states and D.C., more than half of the LGBTQ population lives in a state without a full ban in place. An increasing number of jurisdictions, however, have local ordinances prohibiting the practice.

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