NGLTF: 47% of U.S. Population Now Protected From Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force analysis gives us some good news — significant positive shifts in public support for recognized civil rights for the LGBT community at the local level. The number of pockets of tolerance are growing, in spite of the hate campaign of the Right.
With Illinois acting last week to ban anti-gay discrimination, 47 % of the U.S. population — 138 million people — now lives in a jurisdiction that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, according to an analysis by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute. Ten years ago, the figure was 34%.
The analysis also found that more than one in four Americans – 27% – now lives in a jurisdiction that bans discrimination against transgender persons, up from 4% ten years ago, and 5% just five years ago. Illinois’s law also bans discrimination based on gender identity and expression.
“Thanks to the hard work of grassroots activists, the glass of basic fairness for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans is slowly filling up,” said Sean Cahill, Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute. “While we have a long way to go until all of us are protected from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations, the progress is undeniable and unstoppable.”
The Policy Institute analysis concluded that the actions of state legislatures and town councils reflected strong public support for laws protecting gay and transgender people from discrimination.
As nondiscrimination protections have spread across the nation at the local and state level, a federal bill to ban anti-gay discrimination in employment has languished in Congress for nearly a decade.
The report also noted:
* 156 million Americans, or 53% of the U.S. population, live in a state or jurisdiction where one can be fired, refused service in a restaurant, or denied housing or a loan simply because of his/her actual or perceived sexual orientation.
* 215 million Americans, or 73% of the U.S. population, live in a jurisdiction where a person can be fired, refused service in a restaurant, or denied housing or a loan simply because of his/her actual or perceived gender identity or expression.