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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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Snapshot: LGBT Equality by State

This map shows the overall policy tallies for each state and the District of Columbia. A state’s “policy tally” counts the number of laws and policies within the state that help drive equality for LGBT people. The major categories of laws covered by the policy tally include: Marriage and Relationship Recognition, Adoption and Parenting, Non-Discrimination, Safe Schools, Health and Safety, and Identity Documents.  Click on any state to view its detailed policy tally and state profile.
United States Map
Vermont New Hampshire Washington D.C. Maryland Delaware New Jersey Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Alaska Hawaii California Oregon Washington Nevada Utah Arizona Idaho Montana Wyoming Colorado 33 Texas North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Minnesota Iowa Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Mississippi Florida Georgia Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Maine New York Pennsylvania Virginia Vermont New Hampshire American Samoa Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Guam Puerto Rico U.S. Virgin Islands
  • High Overall Policy Tally (18 states, 1 territory + D.C.)
  • Medium Overall Policy Tally (6 states, 0 territories)
  • Low Overall Policy Tally (22 states, 4 territories)
  • Negative Overall Policy Tally (4 states, 0 territories)
Note that the tallies look only at existing laws—they do not look at the social climate, nor do they take into account implementation of each state’s laws. The tally also does not reflect the efforts of advocates and/or opportunities for future change. States with low tallies might shift rapidly with an influx of resources, whereas those states with high tallies might continue to expand equality for LGBT people in ways that can provide models for other states.


Sexual Orientation TallyGender Identity TallyTotal Tally
High11 to 209 to 20.520 to 40.5
Medium5 to 10.994 to 8.999 to 19.99
Low0 to 4.990 to 3.990 to 8.99
Negative< 0<0<0

Recommended citation:
Movement Advancement Project. "Equality Maps: Overall Policy Tally." http://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/legal_equality_by_state (date of access).


Percent of Adult LGBT Population Covered by Laws

*Note: These percentages reflect estimates of the LGBT adult population living in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Estimates of the LGBT adult population in the five inhabited U.S. territories are not available, and so cannot be reflected here.

45%

45 % of the LGBT population lives in states with high overall policy tallies

10%

10 % of LGBT population lives in states with medium overall policy tallies

38%

38 % of LGBT population lives in states with low overall policy tallies

6%

6 % of LGBT population lives in states with negative overall policy tallies

Click on any state to view its detailed policy tally.
United States Map
Vermont New Hampshire Washington D.C. Maryland Delaware New Jersey Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Alaska Hawaii California Oregon Washington Nevada Utah Arizona Idaho Montana Wyoming Colorado 33 Texas North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Minnesota Iowa Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Mississippi Florida Georgia Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Maine New York Pennsylvania Virginia Vermont New Hampshire American Samoa Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Guam Puerto Rico U.S. Virgin Islands
  • High Sexual Orientation Policy Tally (19 states, 1 territory + D.C.)
  • Medium Sexual Orientation Policy Tally (9 states, 1 territory)
  • Low Sexual Orientation Policy Tally (22 states, 3 territories)
  • Negative Sexual Orientation Policy Tally ( states,  territories)
NOTE: This tally includes laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation. The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction (or lack thereof) to people. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily target, whether for protection or harm, lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. Transgender people can also be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.


Sexual Orientation Tally
High11 to 20
Medium5 to 10.99
Low0 to 4.99
Negative<0
Recommended citation:
Movement Advancement Project. "Equality Maps: Overall Policy Tally." http://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/legal_equality_by_state (date of access).

Percent of Adult LGBT Population Covered by Laws

*Note: These percentages reflect estimates of the LGBT adult population living in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Estimates of the LGBT adult population in the five inhabited U.S. territories are not available, and so cannot be reflected here.

47%

47 % of the LGBT population lives in states with high sexual orientation policy tallies

21%

21 % of LGBT population lives in states with medium sexual orientation policy tallies

32%

32 % of LGBT population lives in states with low sexual orientation policy tallies

0%

0 % of LGBT population lives in states with negative sexual orientation policy tallies

Click on any state to view its detailed policy tally.
United States Map
Vermont New Hampshire Washington D.C. Maryland Delaware New Jersey Connecticut Rhode Island Massachusetts Alaska Hawaii California Oregon Washington Nevada Utah Arizona Idaho Montana Wyoming Colorado 33 Texas North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Minnesota Iowa Louisiana Arkansas Missouri Mississippi Florida Georgia Tennessee South Carolina North Carolina Wisconsin Illinois Michigan Indiana Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Maine New York Pennsylvania Virginia Vermont New Hampshire American Samoa Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Guam Puerto Rico U.S. Virgin Islands
  • High Gender Identity Policy Tally (17 states, 1 territory + D.C.)
  • Medium Gender Identity Policy Tally (7 states, 0 territories)
  • Low Gender Identity Policy Tally (8 states, 2 territories)
  • Negative Gender Identity Policy Tally (18 states, 2 territories)
NOTE: This tally includes laws that explicitly mention gender identity and/or expression. “Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns, all of which can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation. Transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or something else. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily target, whether for protection or harm, transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.


Gender Identity Tally
High9 to 20.5
Medium4 to 8.99
Low0 to 3.99
Negative<0

Recommended citation:
Movement Advancement Project. "Equality Maps: Overall Policy Tally." http://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/legal_equality_by_state (date of access).

Percent of Adult LGBT Population Covered by Laws

*Note: These percentages reflect estimates of the LGBT adult population living in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Estimates of the LGBT adult population in the five inhabited U.S. territories are not available, and so cannot be reflected here.

45%

45 % of the LGBT population lives in states with high gender identity policy tallies

9%

9 % of LGBT population lives in states with medium gender identity policy tallies

17%

17 % of LGBT population lives in states with low gender identity policy tallies

29%

29 % of LGBT population lives in states with negative gender identity policy tallies

 State     
Relationship and
Parental Recognition
Non–Discrimination
Religious Exemption Laws
LGBT Youth
Healthcare
Criminal
Justice
Identity
Documents
1 Georgia SO 2/8 0/4.5 0/-1.25 0.5/3.5 1/2 -0.5/2 -- 3.00 -4.00 -1.00
GI 0/2 0/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 -0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 -3/4
2 Nebraska SO 2.5/8 0/4.5 0/-1.25 0/3.5 0.5/2 0.5/2 -- 3.50 -3.50 0.00
GI 0/2 0/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 -1.5/4.5 -0.5/2 -1.5/4
3 Tennessee SO 2.5/8 -0.5/4.5 -0.5/-1.25 0.25/3.5 0/2 0.5/2 -- 2.25 -3.00 -0.75
GI 0/2 -0.5/4.5 -0.5/-0.75 0.25/3.5 -1.5/4.5 0.25/2 -1/4
4 Alabama SO 2/8 0/4.5 -0.75/-1.25 -0.5/3.5 0/2 -0.5/2 -- 0.25 -2.75 -2.50
GI 0/2 0/4.5 -0.75/-0.75 -0.5/3.5 0/4.5 -0.5/2 -1/4
5 Northern Mariana Islands SO 1.5/8 0.5/4.5 0/-1.25 0.5/3.5 0.5/2 0/2 -- 3.00 -2.50 0.50
GI 0/2 0/4.5 0/-0.75 0.5/3.5 0/4.5 0/2 -3/4
6 Louisiana SO 2/8 0/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 -0.25/3.5 0.5/2 0.5/2 -- 2.50 -2.25 0.25
GI 0/2 0/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 -0.5/3.5 0/4.5 -0.5/2 -1/4
7 North Dakota SO 2.5/8 0/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 0.25/3.5 0.5/2 -0.5/2 -- 2.50 -2.25 0.25
GI 0/2 0/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 0/3.5 -0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 -1/4
8 Oklahoma SO 3.5/8 0/4.5 -0.5/-1.25 -0.5/3.5 1/2 -0.5/2 -- 3.00 -2.00 1.00
GI 0/2 0/4.5 -0.5/-0.75 -0.5/3.5 0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 -1/4
9 South Dakota SO 2/8 0/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 -0.25/3.5 0/2 -0.5/2 -- 1.00 -1.50 -0.50
GI 0/2 0/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 -0.25/3.5 0/4.5 -0.5/2 -0.5/4
10 Kansas SO 3/8 0.5/4.5 -0.75/-1.25 0/3.5 0/2 0.5/2 -- 3.25 -1.25 2.00
GI 0/2 0.5/4.5 -0.5/-0.75 0/3.5 0/4.5 -0.5/2 -0.75/4
11 South Carolina SO 2.5/8 0/4.5 -0.5/-1.25 -0.5/3.5 1/2 -0.5/2 -- 2.00 -1.00 1.00
GI 0/2 0/4.5 -0.5/-0.75 -0.5/3.5 0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 0/4
12 West Virginia SO 2.5/8 0/4.5 0/-1.25 1/3.5 0.5/2 -0.5/2 -- 3.50 -1.00 2.50
GI 0/2 0/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 -0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 0/4
13 Arkansas SO 2.5/8 -0.5/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 1/3.5 0.5/2 -0.5/2 -- 2.75 -0.75 2.00
GI 0/2 -0.5/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 1/3.5 -0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 0/4
14 Ohio SO 2.5/8 1.25/4.5 0/-1.25 0.25/3.5 0.5/2 -0.5/2 -- 4.00 -0.75 3.25
GI 0/2 1.25/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 -1/4.5 -0.5/2 -0.5/4
15 Texas SO 2.5/8 0/4.5 -0.5/-1.25 -0.5/3.5 1/2 0.75/2 -- 3.25 -0.75 2.50
GI 0/2 0/4.5 -0.5/-0.75 -0.5/3.5 0.5/4.5 -0.25/2 0/4
16 Wyoming SO 2.5/8 0/4.5 0/-1.25 0.25/3.5 0/2 0/2 -- 2.75 -0.75 2.00
GI 0/2 0/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 -1/4.5 0/2 0.25/4
17 Arizona SO 2.5/8 1.25/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 0/3.5 1/2 0.75/2 -- 5.25 -0.50 4.75
GI 0/2 0.75/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 0/3.5 0/4.5 -0.25/2 -0.75/4
18 Guam SO 4.5/8 1.5/4.5 0/-1.25 1/3.5 1/2 -0.5/2 -- 7.50 -0.50 7.00
GI 1/2 1.5/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 -3/4
19 Missouri SO 2/8 1.25/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 -0.25/3.5 0.5/2 0.5/2 -- 3.75 -0.25 3.50
GI 0/2 0.75/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 -0.5/3.5 -0.5/4.5 0.5/2 -0.25/4
20 Wisconsin SO 5/8 3.5/4.5 0/-1.25 1.25/3.5 1/2 0.5/2 -- 11.25 -0.25 11.00
GI 0/2 0.5/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 -0.75/4
21 Idaho SO 2.5/8 0.75/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 0.25/3.5 0/2 -0.5/2 -- 2.75 0.00 2.75
GI 0/2 0.75/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 0.25/3.5 -0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 0.25/4
22 Mississippi SO 2.5/8 0/4.5 -1.25/-1.25 -0.25/3.5 1/2 -0.5/2 -- 1.50 0.00 1.50
GI 0/2 0/4.5 -0.75/-0.75 -0.25/3.5 0/4.5 -0.5/2 1.5/4
23 American Samoa SO 1.5/8 0/4.5 0/-1.25 0/3.5 0/2 0/2 -- 1.50 0.00 1.50
GI 0/2 0/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 0/4.5 0/2 0/4
24 North Carolina SO 2.5/8 0/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 1/3.5 1/2 -0.5/2 -- 3.75 0.25 4.00
GI 0/2 0/4.5 0/-0.75 1/3.5 0/4.5 -0.5/2 -0.25/4
25 Alaska SO 2/8 1.25/4.5 0/-1.25 0/3.5 0/2 -0.5/2 -- 2.75 0.50 3.25
GI 0/2 0.75/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 -1/4.5 -0.5/2 1.25/4
26 Kentucky SO 3/8 1.25/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 0/3.5 1/2 0.5/2 -- 5.50 0.50 6.00
GI 0/2 1.25/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 0/3.5 1/4.5 -0.5/2 -1/4
27 Virginia SO 2/8 0.5/4.5 -0.5/-1.25 0/3.5 0.5/2 -0.5/2 -- 2.00 0.75 2.75
GI 0/2 0.5/4.5 -0.5/-0.75 0/3.5 0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 0.75/4
28 U.S. Virgin Islands SO 2.5/8 0.5/4.5 0/-1.25 1/3.5 0/2 0.5/2 -- 4.50 1.00 5.50
GI 0/2 0.5/4.5 0/-0.75 1/3.5 0/4.5 0.5/2 -1/4
29 Indiana SO 3/8 1.25/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 0.25/3.5 1/2 0.5/2 -- 5.75 2.75 8.50
GI 0/2 1.25/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 0.25/3.5 1/4.5 -0.5/2 1/4
30 Florida SO 2/8 1.5/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 0.5/3.5 1/2 0.5/2 -- 5.25 3.25 8.50
GI 0/2 1.5/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 0.25/3.5 0/4.5 -0.5/2 2.25/4
31 Montana SO 3/8 0.5/4.5 0/-1.25 0.25/3.5 0.5/2 -0.5/2 -- 3.75 4.00 7.75
GI 0/2 0.5/4.5 0/-0.75 0/3.5 3/4.5 -0.5/2 1/4
32 Iowa SO 2/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 2.25/3.5 1/2 0.5/2 -- 10.25 4.75 15.00
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 2.25/3.5 0.5/4.5 -0.5/2 -2/4
33 Utah SO 2/8 2.5/4.5 0/-1.25 0.75/3.5 0/2 0.5/2 -- 5.75 5.00 10.75
GI 0/2 2.5/4.5 0/-0.75 0.25/3.5 0/4.5 0.5/2 1.75/4
34 Michigan SO 4/8 2.75/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 1/3.5 0.5/2 -0.5/2 -- 7.50 5.75 13.25
GI 2/2 2.75/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 1/3.5 1.5/4.5 -0.5/2 -0.75/4
35 Pennsylvania SO 3/8 2.75/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 1.5/3.5 1/2 -0.5/2 -- 7.50 7.50 15.00
GI 0/2 2.75/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 0.75/3.5 3/4.5 -0.5/2 1.75/4
36 Maine SO 5.5/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.25/3.5 0.5/2 1/2 -- 14.75 8.00 22.75
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3.25/3.5 -0.5/4.5 0/2 0.75/4
37 New Hampshire SO 2.5/8 3.5/4.5 0/-1.25 2.25/3.5 0.5/2 0.75/2 -- 9.50 8.00 17.50
GI 0/2 3.5/4.5 0/-0.75 2/3.5 1.5/4.5 -0.25/2 1.25/4
38 Delaware SO 3.5/8 3.5/4.5 0/-1.25 2.25/3.5 2/2 0.5/2 -- 11.75 10.25 22.00
GI 0/2 3.5/4.5 0/-0.75 2/3.5 3.5/4.5 0.5/2 0.75/4
39 Puerto Rico SO 4.5/8 1.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3/3.5 1.5/2 1/2 -- 11.50 10.25 21.75
GI 0/2 1.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3/3.5 2/4.5 1/2 2.75/4
40 New Mexico SO 3.5/8 4.5/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 2.5/3.5 0.5/2 1/2 -- 11.75 11.25 23.00
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 2.25/3.5 2/4.5 1/2 1.75/4
41 Hawaii SO 3/8 3.5/4.5 0/-1.25 2.75/3.5 2/2 1/2 -- 12.25 13.50 25.75
GI 0/2 3.5/4.5 0/-0.75 2.75/3.5 4.5/4.5 1/2 1.75/4
42 Maryland SO 5.5/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 2.25/3.5 1/2 0.5/2 -- 13.75 13.50 27.25
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 2/3.5 3.5/4.5 0.5/2 3/4
43 Illinois SO 3/8 4.5/4.5 -0.5/-1.25 3.5/3.5 2/2 1.5/2 -- 14.00 13.75 27.75
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 -0.5/-0.75 3.5/3.5 3.5/4.5 1.5/2 1.25/4
44 Massachusetts SO 7.5/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.25/3.5 1/2 0.75/2 -- 17.00 14.00 31.00
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3.25/3.5 3.5/4.5 0.75/2 2/4
45 New Jersey SO 6.5/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.25/3.5 0.5/2 0.5/2 -- 15.25 14.00 29.25
GI 2/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3.25/3.5 3/4.5 0.5/2 0.75/4
46 Minnesota SO 3/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 2.5/3.5 1.5/2 0.5/2 -- 12.00 14.25 26.25
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 2.25/3.5 4/4.5 0.5/2 3/4
47 Nevada SO 4/8 3.5/4.5 0/-1.25 2.5/3.5 2/2 1.5/2 -- 13.50 14.50 28.00
GI 0/2 3.5/4.5 0/-0.75 2.5/3.5 4/4.5 1.5/2 3/4
48 Colorado SO 4/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.25/3.5 1.5/2 0.75/2 -- 14.00 14.75 28.75
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3.25/3.5 3.5/4.5 0.75/2 2.75/4
49 Connecticut SO 5/8 4.5/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 3.25/3.5 1/2 1.75/2 -- 15.25 15.00 30.25
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 3.25/3.5 3/4.5 1.75/2 2.75/4
50 New York SO 6.5/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.5/3.5 2/2 0.5/2 -- 17.00 15.00 32.00
GI 2/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3.25/3.5 3.5/4.5 0.5/2 1.25/4
51 Washington SO 4.5/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.25/3.5 1.5/2 0.5/2 -- 14.25 15.00 29.25
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3.25/3.5 4/4.5 0.5/2 2.75/4
52 Oregon SO 5.5/8 3.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.25/3.5 1.5/2 0.75/2 -- 14.50 15.25 29.75
GI 0/2 3.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3/3.5 4/4.5 0.75/2 4/4
53 Vermont SO 5/8 4.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.25/3.5 2/2 1/2 -- 15.75 15.50 31.25
GI 0/2 4.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3.25/3.5 4/4.5 1/2 2.75/4
54 Rhode Island SO 6/8 4.5/4.5 -0.25/-1.25 2.5/3.5 2/2 2/2 -- 16.75 15.75 32.50
GI 2/2 4.5/4.5 -0.25/-0.75 2.25/3.5 4.5/4.5 2/2 0.75/4
55 District of Columbia SO 7.5/8 3.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.25/3.5 2/2 1/2 -- 17.25 18.25 35.50
GI 2/2 3.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3.25/3.5 4.5/4.5 1/2 4/4
56 California SO 7/8 3.5/4.5 0/-1.25 3.5/3.5 2/2 1.5/2 -- 17.50 18.50 36.00
GI 2/2 3.5/4.5 0/-0.75 3.5/3.5 4/4.5 1.5/2 4/4
Data current as of 06/14/2019
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