Achieving LGBTQ Equality Through Litigation, Legislation, Policy, and Public Education

The Equality Project

Many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people in the United States face discrimination every day. They may be fired from a job, denied an apartment, or refused service at a movie theater, restaurant or hotel simply because of who they are or who they love.

A survey by the Center for American Progress found that 1 in 4 LGBTQ people reported experiencing discrimination at some point during the 2016 calendar year. NCTE’s 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey reported that 27% of respondents said they were fired, denied a promotion, or experienced some other form of discrimination in the workplace.

Currently, 20 states and the District of Columbia have laws that expressly protect people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Additionally, New Hampshire and Wisconsin have state laws that expressly include only sexual orientation. Many other states, including Ohio, are debating such bills in state legislatures right now. Some cities and counties have also passed similar laws, but these laws do not always provide a full set of rights and remedies.

NCLR’s Equality Project seeks to close these gaps in discrimination protections to ensure that all LGBTQ people are treated with dignity and respect in all areas of life, especially housing, employment, and access to public spaces. Through litigation and policy work, we are working to ensure that courts and the general public understand that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity are forms of sex discrimination, which is already prohibited under most federal, state, and local laws. We are also working with states and localities to ensure that LGBT people are expressly protected under their laws.

If your state or local laws do not expressly protect people based on sexual orientation and gender identity, you may still be able to file a complaint or a lawsuit if you experience discrimination. You should contact an attorney right away. If you call our helpline, we will provide you with information and help you to understand where you can get legal help.

© 2018 National Center for Lesbian Rights. All rights reserved. Give us Feedback. Read our Privacy Policy. State Regulations.