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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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State Religious Exemption Laws

State religious exemption laws permit people, churches, non-profit organizations, and sometimes corporations to seek exemptions from state laws that burden their religious beliefs.

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
  • State has constitutional religious exemption law (1 state)
  • State has statutory religious exemption law (20 states)
  • State has no broad religious exemption law (29 states + D.C.)

Mississippi passed a law in 2016 permitting “adoption and foster care services” agencies to discriminate based on religious beliefs, permitting state officials to decline to marry couples of whose marriage they disapprove, and permitting faith-based organizations to deny services to married same-sex couples, among other provisions; H.B. 1523 (2016); this law has been challenged and overturned by a federal court and is currently stayed from enforcement.


Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

28%

28 % of LGBT population lives in states with constitutional religious exemption laws

42%

42 % of LGBT population lives in states with statutory religious exemption laws

42%

42 % of LGBT population lives in states that have no broad religious exemption law

State religious exemption laws permit people, churches, non-profit organizations, and sometimes corporations to seek exemptions from state laws that burden their religious beliefs.

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
  • State permits state-licensed child welfare agencies to refuse to place and provide services to children and families, including LGBT people and same-sex couples, if doing so conflicts with their religious beliefs (7 states)
  • State has targeted religious exemption that that permits private businesses to deny services to married same-sex couples (2 states)
  • State has targeted religious exemption that permits medical professionals to decline to serve LGBT clients (4 states)
  • State has no religious exemption law related to provision of services (40 states + D.C.)

Mississippi passed a law in 2016 permitting “adoption and foster care services” agencies to discriminate based on religious beliefs, permitting state officials to decline to marry couples of whose marriage they disapprove, and permitting faith-based organizations to deny services to married same-sex couples, among other provisions; H.B. 1523 (2016); this law has been challenged and overturned by a federal court and is currently stayed from enforcement.


Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

15%

15 % of LGBT population lives in states that permit state-licensed child welfare agencies to refuse to place and provide services to children and families, including LGBT people and same-sex couples, if doing so conflicts with their religious beliefs

2%

2 % of LGBT population lives in states that have targeted religious exemption that that permits private businesses to deny services to married same-sex couples

0%

0 % of LGBT population lives in states that have targeted religious exemption that permits medical professionals to decline to serve LGBT clients

0%

0 % of LGBT population lives in states that have no religious exemption law related to provision of services

State religious exemption laws permit people, churches, non-profit organizations, and sometimes corporations to seek exemptions from state laws that burden their religious beliefs.

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
  • State has targeted religious exemption law that permits state and local officials to decline to marry couples of whose marriage they disapprove (3 states)
  • State has no religious exemption law related to issuing marriage licenses (47 states + D.C.)

Mississippi passed a law in 2016 permitting “adoption and foster care services” agencies to discriminate based on religious beliefs, permitting state officials to decline to marry couples of whose marriage they disapprove, and permitting faith-based organizations to deny services to married same-sex couples, among other provisions; H.B. 1523 (2016); this law has been challenged and overturned by a federal court and is currently stayed from enforcement.


Percent of LGBT Population Covered by Laws

1%

1 % of LGBT population lives in states that have targeted religious exemption law that permits state and local officials to decline to marry couples of whose marriage they disapprove

0%

0 % of LGBT population lives in states that have no religious exemption law related to issuing marriage licenses

Key
  • State does not have this law State has religious exemption law
State Constitutional or Statutory Targeted Adoption/Child Services Denial Targeted Marriage License Denial Targeted Marriage Services Denial
  Citations Citations Citations Citations
Alabama State does not have this law State does not have this law
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas State does not have this law
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan State does not have this law
Minnesota
Mississippi State does not have this law State does not have this law State does not have this law
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina State does not have this law
North Dakota State does not have this law
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota State does not have this law
Tennessee
Texas State does not have this law
Utah State does not have this law
Vermont
Virginia State does not have this law
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Data current as of 07/21/2017
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