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Policy Library

Secure a Prosperous Future for All by Strengthening Nondiscrimination Protections

No one should be fired, evicted or denied service in public places because of who they are. But LGBTQ+ people continue to face discrimation based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Further, research shows that the social, economic, and health effects of stigma and discrimination against LGBTQ+ people costs a state tens of millions of dollars each year. This policy would create a fairer state by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity for things like jobs, housing, public accommodations, schools.

The National Landscape

Passed in:

California, Colorado (12), Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts (12), Minnesota, Nevada (1234), New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont (123), Virginia, Washington

Introduced in:

Alaska, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, West Virginia
Even if a state has enacted a policy, there may be aspects to be strengthened. We can help identify ways to improve lives in your state. Please reach out to our State Line: 1-833-STATES-1.

In The News

“Support for anti-discrimination laws and marriage equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is at an all-time high, according to a report released early Tuesday by the Public Religion Research Institute. The survey of more than 10,000 Americans reveals unusual unity in a populace deeply divided along partisan lines and grappling with race and gender issues. Support for nondiscrimination laws for LGBT people was highest in the mid-Atlantic and Pacific states, where 79% of people back such rules. Even in the area with the lowest support for such protection – the Southeast states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi – 69% of those surveyed support such laws, PRRI found.”
“A new research report that examines the discrimination young people face in the workplace finds an alarming divide between LGBTQ youth and their straight and cisgender peers...more than one in three, or 35% of LGBTQ youth, experienced workplace discrimination, with significantly greater rates among transgender and nonbinary youth.”


  • LGBTQ+ rights advocates
  • Public health officials
  • Workers’ rights advocates
  • Human rights advocates
  • Businesses looking to attract and retain talent


  • Special interests that oppose human rights
  • Businesses that have an interest in being allowed to discriminate
Call us for real-time support using this library, problem-solving tips, and follow-up from our team of national experts:
The State Line


Who does this policy help?
This policy helps everyone by stopping unnecessary economic losses and other costs of discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation. The U.S. economy loses approximately $64 billion each year from losing and replacing more than 2 million LGBTQ+ workers who leave or lose their jobs due to discrimination. Outside of work, many LGBTQ+ people report that discrimination has cost them their homes, access to education, and being able to live in the state of their choosing.
Is this high cost for the state?
No. In fact, discrimination against LGBTQ+ people has collectively cost states billions of dollars annually through increased unemployment and worker turnover, increased Medicaid spending due to loss of employer-sponsored health insurance, and higher rates of poverty and homelessness. Ensuring that LGBTQ+ people are protected under the law would increase employment and overall economic activity, and decrease poverty, homelessness, and other adverse outcomes that are also costly for states.

Model Policy

This act shall be known as the STATE Nondiscrimination Protection Extension Act.

To prevent discrimination against people on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, credit, jury systems, and state programs.


(a) STATE anti-discrimination laws with regard to public accommodations, education, employment, housing, credit, jury systems, and state programs are hereby amended to include protections against discrimination on the basis of
  • (i) Sex,
  • (ii) Sexual orientation, and
  • (iii) Gender identity
(b) Definitions
  • (i) The term 'sex' includes (A) a sex stereotype; (B) pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition; and (C) sex characteristics, including intersex traits.
  • (ii) The term ‘sexual orientation’ means identity, or another individual's perception thereof, in relation to the gender or genders to which the individual is sexually or emotionally attracted
  • (iii) The term ‘gender identity’ means having or being perceived as having a gender identity, self image, appearance, behavior or expression whether or not that gender identity, self image, appearance, behavior or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth.