State And Municipal Sexual Orientation Anti-Discrimination Laws

While the Supreme Court has failed to set a consistent national policy regarding sexual orientation discrimination, many states and municipalities have taken the lead in passing protections for homosexuals in areas such as employment and public accommodations. The first of these were passed in the early 1970s, subsequently hundreds of municipalities and many states have adopted anti-sexual orientation protections.

Probably the most famous anti-discrimination sexual orientation law was when the state of Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage in 2004. Vermont’s Civil Union Law, passed in 2000, and a similar law passed in Connecticut in 2005, permit same-sex couples to enter into “civil union” relationships. These laws, while not using the language of marriage, gives same-sex couples virtually all of the 300 or so rights available to married couples. The issue of civil union has been raised in a number of states’ the issue of same-sex marriage has been raised, but in fewer venues.

No other state gives same-sex couples this sort of protection, but several other states currently have anti-discrimination laws and protection for homosexuals:

CALIFORNIA: Protections against discrimination in employment and public accommodations

CONNECTICUT: Protections against discrimination in employment, public accommodation, housing, and credit

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Protections against discrimination in employment, public accommodation, housing, and credit, although religious educational institutions are exempt from protections

HAWAII: Protections against discrimination in employment

ILLINOIS: Protections against discrimination in public employment

MARYLAND: Protections against discrimination in employment

MASSACHUSETTS: Protections against discrimination in employment, public accommodation, housing, and credit

MINNESOTA: Protections against discrimination in employment, public accommodation, housing, and credit

NEVADA: Protections against discrimination in employment

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Protections against discrimination in employment, public accommodation, and housing

NEW JERSEY: Protections against discrimination in employment, public accommodation, housing, and credit

NEW YORK: Protections against discrimination in public employment

PENNSYLVANIA: Protections against discrimination in public employment

RHODE ISLAND: Protections against discrimination in employment, public accommodation, housing, and credit

VERMONT: Protections against discrimination in employment, public accommodation, housing, and credit, civil union law

WASHINGTON: Protections against discrimination in public employment

WISCONSIN: Protections against discrimination in employment, public accommodation, housing, and credit


Inside State And Municipal Sexual Orientation Anti-Discrimination Laws