Extending Rights to Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgender Americans

Progressive States has an entry on how much of extended rights have we witnessed for the LGBT communities.

Even as the “culture wars” supposedly rage, the reality is that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights are making slow and steady progress across the country. Gays and lesbians now have protection against workplace discrimination in states covering nearly half the U.S. population, rights for same sex partnerships and adoptions have made gains in at least ten states, and laws making violence or bullying against gays, lesbians, bisexual or transgender (GLBT) people a crime are increasingly being enacted.

While opposition to equality is still strong in many states, as this Dispatch will outline, GLBT rights are making significant advances, from the workplace to the schoolyard to the home.

While the federal government has failed to pass any laws protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender Americans against discrimination in the workplace or public accommodations, states have slowly but surely been expanding the map of legal protection.

As a map produced by the Human Rights Campaign details, states are making steady progress in extending non-discrimination laws protecting individuals based upon sexual orientation and gender identity:

* 12 states plus the District of Columbia ban discrimination against gays and lesbians AND ban discrimination based on gender identity/expression, while another 8 states ban discrimination just against gays and lesbians. Just last year, Colorado, Iowa and Oregon passed laws banning discrimination based upon sexual orientation gender identity. * Over 43% of the American population live in states where discrimination against gays and lesbians is banned – and 30% of the population live in states that ban discrimination based on gender identity. * In addition to these 20 state laws, about 100 municipalities in the remaining 30 states without non-discrimination laws have local non-discrimination laws, further extending the percentage of the population protected against employment and other forms of direct economic discrimination. * Beyond the 20 states with statewide anti-discrimination statutes, an additional 9 have an executive order or some kind of personnel regulations in place to prohibit discrimination against government employees based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity.