This week, USA Today published an exclusive feature about the impacts of the everyday experiences of discrimination faced by LGBT people. To tell this story, USA Today turned to MAP’s latest report, a policy spotlight on nondiscrimination protections in public accommodations around the country. The article also features a new ad entitled Movie Theater, showing how transgender people in particular face discrimination and harassment in public accommodations.
MAP’s mission is to help speed equality for LGBT people by reaching broad audiences with powerful messaging, policy research, and public education videos. The visibility of MAP’s work in a major news outlet like USA Today, which has a daily readership of nearly 3.3 million people, helps us spread the message that LGBT people continue to face discrimination today, and that nondiscrimination protections need to be enacted nationwide. Businesses that are open to the public should be open to all.
MAP’s latest report shows how a lack of nondiscrimination protections in public accommodations puts LGBT people at risk in their everyday lives. At least 25% of LGBT people experience discrimination in employment, housing, or public accommodations. As a result, many LGBT people are forced to change their daily lives just to get through the day without harassment or fear.
As part of the LGBT Policy Spotlight: Public Accommodations Nondiscrimination Laws, MAP launched a series of free, shareable infographics.
Yesterday, the Movement Advancement Project, along with our partners at the Equality Federation Institute, Freedom for All Americans, and the National Center for Transgender Equality launched a new report, LGBT Policy Spotlight: Public Accommodations Nondiscrimination Laws. This report provides a comprehensive overview of the gaps in nondiscrimination laws for LGBT people in public spaces—and the devastating impact of the lack of protections.
The existing patchwork of protections leaves LGBT people vulnerable to discrimination. Currently, no federal law prohibits discrimination in public accommodations based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Only nineteen states and Washington D.C. have laws protecting people from discrimination in public accommodations based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex, leaving LGBT people in 31 states at risk for legal discrimination.
Opponents have launched coordinated attacks on the ability of LGBT people to participate fully in public life. The report details four distinct strategies: bathroom bans that would limit transgender people’s access to restrooms; ballot measures to repeal nondiscrimination protections; state preemption of cities and counties prohibiting them from enacting local ordinances; and, creating religious exemptions to nondiscrimination laws. These efforts are part of a larger attempt to create a license to discriminate.
There is broad public and business support for nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people. In a 2017 PRRI poll, 72% of Americans said they support laws that protect LGBT from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. A 2017 Small Business Majority poll similarly found that 65% of business owners agree that businesses should not be allowed to deny service to LGBT people because of religious beliefs.
This report has already garnered significant attention in the media, showing the resonance and importance of these findings:
As the Supreme Court prepares to issue a ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, public places have become the next battleground in the fight for full equality for LGBT people. The core issue is whether public accommodations—places of business, public transit, hotels, restaurants, taxi cabs and more—can refuse service to people just because of who they are or whom they love.
As a nation, we decided a long time ago that businesses and services that are open to the public should be open to all. Nobody should be turned away simply because of who they are.
In December, 2017 MAP released the 2017 National Movement Report, which provides a comprehensive and standardized look at LGBT movement’s finances across 39 major LGBT organizations.
Revenue is up slightly and donations are increasing, perhaps as donors seek opportunities to respond to the new political climate. The report also finds that, at the end of the 2016 fiscal year, the participating organizations overall remain stable, efficient, and supported by a diverse range of revenue sources.
Did you know there are an estimated 150,000 transgender youth between the ages of 13 and 17 in America? GLSEN’s 2015 National School Climate Survey found that 75% of transgender students felt unsafe at school because of their gender expression, 50% report being unable to use the name or pronoun that matches their identity and 70% report avoiding bathrooms. Excluding transgender students is humiliating and discriminatory and adds to the bullying and mistreatment that far too many transgender students already face.
MAP’s report, released in partnership with the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the National Education Association (NEA) in May 2017, shows how excluding transgender students from school facilities that match their gender is not only unnecessary, but profoundly harmful. As the report shows, this argument is not just about bathrooms, but it is about whether or not transgender students will be included in our public education system. Put simply, if transgender students cannot safely access a bathroom, they cannot safely attend school.