This weekend will mark 50 years since an uprising at New York City’s Stonewall Inn sparked what many consider to be the birth of the modern gay-rights movement. Since that time, the steady march toward LGBTQ equality in the United States has largely been seen as one of the most significant cultural victories of our time, including a Supreme Court ruling in 2015 that made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.
But when it comes to workplace protections for LGBTQ employees, things have not progressed as quickly as you might think. Notably, there is no federal law that explicitly protects workers for being fired for their sexual orientation or gender identity. Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, which would expand broad civil rights protections for LGBTQ people, including in the workplace. But the bill faces hurdles in the Republican-controlled Senate, to say the least.
In the absence of federal protections, at least 33 states and the District of Columbia offer at least some protections for LGBTQ workers, according to the latest data from Human Rights Campaign. Those protections range from prohibiting discrimination against public employees based on sexual orientation to prohibiting discrimination against all employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity. And yet, 17 states still offer no protections at all, leaving employees in those states vulnerable to anti-gay harassment, retaliation, and other forms of workplace abuse.
The map below shows how each state breaks down. (You can also find the full data from HRC here, which includes a detailed analysis of each state’s laws.) We’ve shared this map a few times before, including two years ago when we wrote about the Trump administration rolling back Obama-era protections for LGBTQ Americans. Sadly, the map has changed very little since then.