Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-03-03
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

LGBTQ laws rated in Human Rights Campaign State Equality Index
--From a press release
2021-01-25

This article shared 839 times since Mon Jan 25, 2021
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, and the Equality Federation Institute released their 7th annual State Equality Index (SEI). The SEI is a comprehensive report that details statewide laws and policies that affect LGBTQ people and their families and assesses how well states are protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination. Illinois falls into the category, "Working Toward Innovative Equality".

"The 2020 legislative session was one of the most unusual in recent memory, given the COVID-19 pandemic. However, despite the shortened sessions in many states, we saw multiple states pass pro-equality laws to protect the LGBTQ community," said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David. "Although there were anti-LGBTQ laws passed — most notably in Idaho, where the legislature and Governor refused to immediately respond to the pandemic and instead spent time passing legislation expressly targeting transgender people — we also saw great progess. For example, the landmark Virginia Values Act passed and signed into law, making Virginia the first state in the South to adopt non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. The Human Rights Campaign's 2020 State Equality Index (SEI) covers what we saw last year and looks ahead to this year, highlighting the importance of proactive non-discrimination protections and other pro-equality legislation as LGBTQ people continue to be disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic."

Despite the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision Bostock v. Clayton County, which prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ people, explicit and comprehensive civil rights protections still do not exist at for LGBTQ people at the federal level. As a result, the rights of millions of LGBTQ people and their families vary depending on which state they live in. In 27 states, LGBTQ people remain at risk of being fired, evicted or denied services because of who they are. There are 18 states and Washington, D.C., that have robust LGBTQ non-discrimination laws covering employment, housing and public accommodations.

The SEI's assessment of statewide LGBTQ-related legislation and policies in the areas of parenting laws and policies, religious refusal and relationship recognition laws, non-discrimination laws and policies, hate crime and criminal justice laws, youth-related laws and policies and health and safety laws and policies has placed each state in one of four distinct categories:

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia are in the highest-rated category, "Working Toward Innovative Equality": California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; District of Columbia; Hawaii; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; and Washington.

Two states are in the category "Solidifying Equality": Iowa; and Virginia.

Four states are in the category "Building Equality": Kansas; Pennsylvania; Utah; and Wisconsin.

Twenty-Five states are in the lowest-rated category "High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality": Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; Florida; Georgia; Idaho; Indiana; Kentucky; Louisiana; Michigan; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; West Virginia; and Wyoming.

"The State Equality Index tells the story of how advocates on the ground, in states across the country, achieved wins and battled tough opposition to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community. In a year of fighting the triple pandemics of coronavirus, police brutality and racism, state-based advocates continued to push back against anti-LGBTQ attacks and even secured some huge advancements for LGBTQ people," said Fran Hutchins, Executive Director of Equality Federation Institute. "As a Southerner, I was particularly pleased to see Virginia become the first southern state to pass a law that protects LGBTQ people from discrimination. From the Northeast to the Southwest, LGBTQ advocates are securing protections that allow our community to thrive in all the places we call home. As we face the upcoming attacks by equality opponents, we know the state-based movement is stronger than ever and ready to fight for the millions of LGBTQ Americans who need us."

In 2020, 379 pro-equality bills were introduced by 38 states and the District of Columbia, while 47 were passed into law. Most notably, Virginia passed the landmark Virginia Values Act, which expanded the state's existing protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity and created all-new protections for Virginians in private employment and places of public accommodation. Virginia also became the first state to jump two categories in one year, from "High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality" to "Solidifying Equality." Additional key new laws include bans on the use of the so-called "LGBTQ panic defense," laws easing the process for adoption and obtaining fertility services, required training on LGBTQ cultural competence for government employees, updating sex education curricula to be more LGBTQ-inclusive, expanding access to PrEP and collecting sexual orientation and gender identity information in COVID-19 data collection.

Also in 2020, 185 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced by 35 states, while four were passed into law. These included two bills in Idaho that directly attacked transgender people — one bill prohibiting transgender girls from participating in girls' sports, and another barring transgender people from updating the gender marker on their birth certificates. Tennessee passed on its first day of session a license to discriminate in child welfare services bill, which the Governor quickly signed into law.

This SEI report comes as more than 40 state legislatures and the District of Columbia have opened their sessions. So far, we are tracking more than 60 potentially LGBTQ-related pieces of legislation that have been introduced. While this year's legislative sessions will undoubtedly be shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 election, we also anticipate continued attacks on transgender youth, particularly in relation to athletic participation and access to best-practice, affirming medical care, to continue across the country. We also anticipate seeing a resurgence in passing religious refusal legislation, including legislation to create novel religious exemptions to non-discrimination laws.

Advancing LGBTQ non-discrimination protections at the state and federal levels is supported by a wide swath of Americans. A recent PRRI survey found that 83% of Americans support LGBTQ non-discrimination laws like the Equality Act. A map of this patchwork of laws can be found here.

HRC's full State Equality Index report, including detailed scorecards for every state, and a preview of the 2021 state legislative session is available online at www.hrc.org/sei.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


This article shared 839 times since Mon Jan 25, 2021
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Racial justice coalition urges prosecutor to drop Jussie Smollett charges
2021-03-04
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Today, a coalition of racial justice and faith based organizations led by the National Black Justice Coalition and including Black Gifted and Whole, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Community Renewal Society, Black AIDS Institute, ...


Gay News

Applications for asylum based on LGBT status top 11,000 between 2012, 2017
2021-03-04
--From a press release - A new study from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law estimates that 11,400 applications for asylum on the basis of LGBT status were filed in the U.S. between 2012 and 2017. Three out of ...


Gay News

Niecy Nash to host GLAAD Media Awards April 8; WCT to receive special award
2021-03-03
GLAAD announced that out actress/producer Niecy Nash will host the virtual ceremony for the 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards, during which Windy City Times will receive a special honor. The organization also announced the awards ceremony ...


Gay News

Howard Brown Health expands access to medical care of sexual-assault survivors
2021-03-02
Howard Brown Health is now providing access to medical forensic exams and evidence collection for survivors of sexual assault on the North and South sides of Chicago through its In Power program. Together with local rape-crisis ...


Gay News

WORLD Ghana turmoil, Malaysia case, Copenhagen 2021, Brazil churches
2021-02-28
Anti-gay outcry has forced Ghana's first LGBT+ community center to temporarily close to protect its staff and visitors three weeks after it opened, Reuters reported. Church groups, politicians and anti-gay rights groups have called on the ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Nebraska measure, Williams Institute, Audre Lorde, journalist dies
2021-02-28
In Nebraska, the Lincoln City Council passed an ordinance that bans licensed mental-health professionals from subjecting LGBTQ youth to the discredited practice of conversion therapy, according to a Trevor Project ...


Gay News

Equality Act would provide federal civil rights protections to 13M LGBTs
2021-02-26
--From a press release - Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, federal legislation that would expressly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity under existing civil rights laws. LGBT ...


Gay News

Preservation Chicago unveils list of most endangered Chicago buildings
2021-02-26
Preservation Chicago—which works with city officials, neighborhood residents, owners and stakeholders to prevent what is often viewed as the wholesale loss of Chicago's important buildings—has revealed its 2021 list of ...


Gay News

One-third of gay, bisexual men who take PrEP discontinue within three years
2021-02-25
--From a press release - Familiarity and favorable attitudes towards PrEP have increased over time, though use remains low A new study from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds a significant increase in familiarity with pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) ...


Gay News

Advocates, legislators introduce bill to decriminalize HIV in Illinois
2021-02-25
--From a press release - SPRINGFIELD, IL - Legislation was introduced in Springfield this week to end criminal penalties against people living with HIV (PLWH), which serve only to stigmatize and discriminate against PLWH. Current Illinois law makes legal behavior — ...


Gay News

Newman, Taylor Greene clash over Equality Act
2021-02-25
Illinois U.S. Rep. Marie Newman's push to pass the Equality Act—a law that would ban discrimination against LGBTQ Americans—has put her at odds with controversial Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, according to The Chicago Tribun ...


Gay News

1.3 million adult immigrants in the US identify as LGBT
2021-02-23
--From a press release - LGBT immigrants are more often male and younger compared to all immigrants in the country An estimated 1,274,500 LGBT foreign-born adults live in the U.S., including 289,700 who are undocumented and 984,800 who are documented, according ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs legislation transforming Illinois criminal justice system
2021-02-22
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Building on efforts to create a more equitable and safe criminal justice system, Governor JB Pritzker signed landmark legislation that transforms Illinois' criminal justice system. This landmark legislation ...


Gay News

Pride and Less Prejudice to host panel on LGBTQ media representation March 20
2021-02-21
On Saturday, March 20, at 1 p.m. CT, Pride and Less Prejudice (PLP)—which provides free, age-appropriate, LGBTQ-inclusive books to pre-K-3rd grade students in order to foster LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance—will ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Virginia items, Marriott CEO, Black LGBTQ+ icons, trans kids' book
2021-02-21
Virginia lawmakers are about to roll back a state law that allows faith-based adoption and foster-care agencies to refuse service to LGBTQ families, VirginiaMercury.com reported. The legislation has spurred heated ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.