Q&A: Know Your LGBTQ Legal Protections

Know Your LGBTQ Legal Protections - Religious Exemptions
Know Your LGBTQ Legal Protections - Religious Exemptions

Finally, LGBTQ Americans from coast to coast have the employment protections that have long been deserved. Many states and localities, including Tucson, already had ordinances that outlawed employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. Unfortunately, legal protections in this country are still depended on your zip code. Keep reading to learn about your LGBTQ legal protections around the country!

Some good news:  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity is illegal.  This falls under Federal Civil Rights Act (Title VII) , which prohibits discrimination based on sex in employment.  Most importantly, some states already had laws the explicitly prohibit discrimination in employment. 
Do you know which states and how many? see answers below in question # 4

Some not so good news:  Many states allow discrimination to  LGBTQ citizens and for many reasons.  Take the quiz and see how well you do.  Please share with your friends, have discussions and maybe write to some politicians. We have definitely come a long way and we have a long way to go.  In conclusion, equality should be everyone’s right as a citizen of the United States of America.

How many states have religious exemptions that permit private business to deny services to same-sex couples?

Currently, there are 2 states that have targeted “religious” exemptions that allow people to discriminate in the services they provide their customers. These offending states are Kansas and Mississippi. In addition, there are a few others considering proposals within their statehouse.

Know Your LGBTQ Legal Protections - Housing Discrimination
Know Your LGBTQ Legal Protections – Housing Discrimination

How many states have a State law that prohibits housing discrimination based on sexual orientation?

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that 22 states have laws in place that protect their LGBTQ citizens from discrimination in renting, eviction and even buying a home! Unfortunately, that leaves the other 28 states where housing discrimination is perfectly legal. Unfortunaelty that includes our fair state of Arizona. Thankfully, 5 cities do have these protections: Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson, Sedona, and Winslow.

Know Your LGBTQ Legal Protections - Conversion Therapy
Know Your LGBTQ Legal Protections – Conversion Therapy

How many states allow conversion therapy?

This is the most disappointing category.  More than half of the country (29 states and all 4 territories) still allow conversion therapy. In other words, they allow their most vulnerable citizens to be tortured. Are we living in a third world country? Conversion therapy has proven to cause incredible damage to the individual:

  • 8.4x more likely to report having attempted suicide
  • 5.9x more likely report high levels of depression
  • 3.4x more likely to use illegal drugs
  • 3.4x more likely to be at high risk of HIV and STDs

LGBTQ Legal Protection Information Courtesy of the Movement Advancement Project
Conversion Therapy Information Courtesy of GLAAD