A comprehensive review and measurements of the status of LGBT legal equality under the law in the United States.
WHAT HAS BEEN DELIVERED ON LGBT EQUALITY
Since the Inauguration of President Obama in January 2009, the following has been delivered:
- Passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Signed into law by President Obama on October 28, 2009.
- Passed the Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010. Signed into law by President Obama on December 22, 2009.
- Significant federal policy changes: extended some benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, banned gender identity discrimination for federal employees, committed to ensuring the HUD programs are open to all, created the National Resource Center for LGBT seniors, ensured LGBT visitation rights in hospitals, issued regulations for gender appropriate passports, extended domestic violence protections for LGBT victims, extended the Medical and Family Leave Act to include same sex partners. And many more actions in a list compiled by DNC Treasurer Andy Tobias here.
But, as all of us--including the Administration--agree, much more needs to be done... continue reading below.
WHAT IS REQUIRED TO ACHIEVE LGBT LEGAL EQUALITY UNDER THE LAW
FEDERAL LEVEL: eQualityGiving has identified 13 major areas of federal law that refer to equal rights. In all of these areas (except Hate Crimes since October 2009 and the Military starting in 2011), lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals are not treated equally under federal law in the United States of America. Our Blueprint for LGBT equality details all of these areas as well as proposes specific legal text to address all of these inequalities.
STATE LEVEL: Much more progress has been made in a handful of states. About half of the states are still very deficient in key state legislation that makes everybody equal under the law. See our States Scorecard for a detailed analysis state-by-state of LGBT equality. And while marriage equality is now the law in five states, 31 states have status or constitutional amendments that establish marriage as between one man and one woman only.
Below, we provide comprehensive information and measures of the status of LGBT legal equality under the law.
CRITICAL MEASUREMENT: FEDERAL LGBT LEGAL EQUALITY INDEX
This measure, developed by eQualityGiving and updated daily, shows as a percentage how many of the 13 areas lacking LGBT equality have been covered by federal legislation since the inauguration of President Obama.
Check this chart: Waiting for LGBT equality to compare in an easy to read chart what equality should be and the state of discrimination as the day that President Obama was inaugurated and the state of equality at the federal level today.
You can also check the details of how the Federal LGBT Legal Equality Index is computed and its history.
CRITICAL MEASUREMENT: STATES OF EQUALITY SCORECARD
This measure, also developed by eQualityGiving, shows the scores (from 0 to 6) for each of the states based on six areas that are the responsibility of the states.
Before reading the results for your state (or any other state), try our Equal and Gay Quiz to test your knowledge of the state of equality in any state (it takes less than one minute). This will lead you to the scorecard to view the results (you can sort the results in multiple ways for more analysis). If you want to access the scorecard without taking the anonymous test go directly to the States of Equality Scorecard.
TREND ANALYSIS: 2000 TO 2009
The Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and the Movement Advancement Project have created a two-page report of the progress made from 2000 to 2009 on LGBT rights. You can download the document here.
POLICIES THAT THE PRESIDENT CAN CHANGE
Nineteen LGBT organizations have prepared a list of policies and executive orders that the Obama Administration could institute without approval from Congress. The Task Force used to keep a list of 82 proposals listed by agency, but it seems that it so no longer maintained. Out of the 82 proposals, one was marked as accomplished (as of July 5, 2010).
THE PRESIDENT'S CAMPAIGN PROMISES
In the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama made specific promises about LGBT legal equality. Read the compilation of candidate Obama quotes and positions on equality classified by each equality goal.
Check also the Frequently Asked Questions on Obama positions on equality compiled during the 2008 presidential campaign.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
You can participate in this discussion by adding your comments below and also by taking the poll on the right column of this page.
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