List of cities and counties in the United States offering an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance

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Map of states, counties, and municipalities that have sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination prohibited in public and private employment via statute, executive order, regulation, and/or case law:
  Sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination prohibited in public and private employment via statute, executive order, regulation, and/or case law
  Sexual orientation discrimination prohibited in public and private employment via statute, executive order, regulation, and/or case law, while gender identity discrimination prohibited in public employment only via statute, executive order, regulation, and/or case law
  Gender identity discrimination prohibited in public and private employment via statute, executive order, regulation, and/or case law, while sexual orientation discrimination prohibited in public employment only via statute, executive order, regulation, and/or case law
  Sexual orientation discrimination prohibited in public and private employment via statute, executive order, regulation, and/or case law
  Gender identity discrimination prohibited in public and private employment via statute, executive order, regulation, and/or case law
  Sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination prohibited in public employment only via statute, executive order, regulation, and/or case law
  Sexual orientation discrimination prohibited in public employment only via statute, executive order, regulation, and/or case law
  Gender identity discrimination prohibited in public employment only via statute, executive order, regulation, and/or case law
  Sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination not prohibited in public and private employment via statute, executive order, regulation, and/or case law

A number of cities and counties in the United States have implemented non-discrimination laws for sexual orientation and/or gender identity. As of October 25, 2017, at least 400 cities and counties prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees.[1] Most but not all of these cities and counties are located in states that have a statewide non-discrimination law for sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

The following three jurisdictions of North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas have state laws strictly prohibiting local or county LGBT discrimination ordinances within in the absence of a comparable state discrimination law. The following jurisdictions have laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the absence of a comparable state law. Localities in bold are jurisdictions that prohibit discrimination in the public and private sector. Localities in italics are jurisdictions that prohibit discrimination in public employment only.

Localities that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity (e.g. Miami), which are located in counties (in this case: Miami-Dade) that have also banned such discrimination, are mentioned. Note that while LGBT people in Fort Lauderdale, for example, are not fully protected in employment discrimination under city law, they are fully protected under county law, and as such cannot be discriminated against on the sole ground of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Additionally, several circuit courts of appeals have ruled that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity is covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, these are the First, the Second, the Sixth, the Seventh, the Ninth and the Eleventh circuit courts. Employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is now banned in Indiana and, similarly, gender identity discrimination is banned in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, the Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio and Tennessee, despite none of these states possessing anti-discrimination legislation which include sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Contents

Circuit Court of Appeals rulings[edit]

Sexual orientation[edit]

Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College[edit]

In 2013, Kim Hively filed a lawsuit against the Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana in South Bend, arguing that she was denied promotions and let go from her job because of her sexual orientation. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit heard oral arguments in the case in November 2016 with discussion focusing on the meaning of the word "sex" in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bans workplace discrimination based on race, religion, national origin or sex. On April 4, 2017, the Court of Appeals ruled in a 8-3 vote that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Ivy Tech subsequently stated they would not appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, this ruling creates a precedent for lower courts in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin to follow, meaning employment discrimination based on sexual orientation is now banned in these states (Illinois and Wisconsin already had laws prohibiting such discrimination).[2] Human Rights Campaign hailed the ruling, saying: "Today's ruling is a monumental victory for fairness in the workplace, and for the dignity of lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans who may live in fear of losing their job based on whom they love."[3]

Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc.[edit]

On February 26, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (covering Connecticut, New York and Vermont) ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sexual orientation employment discrimination under the category of sex.[4][5] Donald Zarda, who worked for Altitude Express as a skydiving instructor in New York, is gay. To avoid any discomfort his female students might feel being strapped to an unfamiliar man, Zarda would often disclose he was gay, before one particular jump with a female student, Zarda told her that he was gay. After the skydive, the student told her boyfriend that Zarda had inappropriately touched her and disclosed his sexual orientation to excuse his behavior, the woman's boyfriend told Zarda's boss, who fired Zarda shortly thereafter. Zarda denied touching the student inappropriately and believed that he was fired solely because of his reference to his sexual orientation, the Court ruled, 10-3, that: "Logically, because sexual orientation is a function of sex and sex is a protected characteristic under Title VII, it follows that sexual orientation is also protected."[6] Donald Zarda died in 2014 in a base jumping accident[7] and the case was continued by his family. The ruling did not focus on whether the merits of his case specifically, but whether sexual orientation was protected as a function of sex,[8] and in effect protected gay workers under the Civil Rights Act.[9][9] Prior to the ruling, in July 2017, the Justice Department under President Trump had unexpectedly interceded in the case, arguing in filed a friend of the court brief that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act did not explicitly cover sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace,[9][10] this stance put the DOJ at odds with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.[9]

Gender identity[edit]

Schwenk v. Hartford[edit]

On February 29, 2000, citing Title VII case law, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Guam, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, the Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon and Washington, ruled in favor of a transgender woman's claim of sex discrimination under the Gender Motivated Violence Act based on the perception that she was a man who failed to act like one. The Court noted that "the initial approach" taken in earlier federal appellate Title VII cases, which had dismissed gender identity discrimination cases, "has been overruled by the language and logic of Price Waterhouse."[11][12][13]

Rosa v. Parks W. Bank & Trust Co[edit]

On June 9, 2000, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (covering Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico and Rhode Island) ruled that Lucas Rosa, a transgender woman, had been unlawfully discriminated against due to her gender identity. Rosa had sued the Park West Bank & Trust Co, alleging that the Bank had refused to provide her with a loan application because she did not come dressed in masculine attire and that the Bank's refusal amounted to sex discrimination under the Civil Rights Act. The Court agreed and ruled in Rosa's favor.[11][13][14]

Glenn v. Brumby[edit]

In December 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (covering Alabama, Florida and Georgia) ruled that Vandy Beth Glenn, a transgender woman living in Georgia, had been unfairly terminated from her job at the Georgia Legislative Assembly due to her transgender status. Relying on Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins and other Title VII precedent, the Court concluded that the plaintiff was discriminated against based on her sex because she was transitioning from male to female. The Court stated that a person is considered transgender "precisely because of the perception that his or her behavior transgresses gender stereotypes." As a result, there is "congruence" between discriminating against transgender individuals and discrimination on the basis of "gender-based behavioral norms." "Because everyone is protected against discrimination based on sex stereotypes, such protections cannot be denied to transgender individuals", the Court ruled.[11]

EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes[edit]

On March 7, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (covering Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee) ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination against transgender people. It also ruled that employers may not use the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to justify discrimination against LGBT people. Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman, began working for a funeral home and presented as male; in 2013, she told her boss that she had a gender identity disorder and planned to transition. She was promptly fired by her boss who said that "gender transition violat[es] God's commands because a person's sex is an immutable God-given fit."[15]

West Region[edit]

Pacific Division[edit]

Alaska[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for public employees by executive order. While the state has not enacted any anti-discrimination legislation, discrimination in employment based on gender identity is banned in Alaska under the case of Schwenk v. Hartford.

American Samoa[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level.

California[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.

Guam[edit]

Prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by statute.[18]

Hawaii[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.

Northern Mariana Islands[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level. While the territory has not enacted any anti-discrimination legislation, discrimination in employment based on gender identity is banned in the Northern Mariana Islands under the case of Schwenk v. Hartford.

Oregon[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.

Washington[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.

Mountain Division[edit]

Arizona[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for public employees by executive order. While the state has not enacted any anti-discrimination legislation, discrimination in employment based on gender identity is banned in Arizona under the case of Schwenk v. Hartford.

Colorado[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.[27]

Idaho[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level. While the state has not enacted any anti-discrimination legislation, discrimination in employment based on gender identity is banned in Idaho under the case of Schwenk v. Hartford.

Montana[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for public employees by executive order. While the state has not enacted any anti-discrimination legislation, discrimination in employment based on gender identity is banned in Montana under the case of Schwenk v. Hartford.

Nevada[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.

New Mexico[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.

Utah[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.

Wyoming[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level.

Midwest Region[edit]

West North Central Division[edit]

Iowa[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.

Kansas[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level.1

Minnesota[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.

Missouri[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for public employees only by executive order.

Nebraska[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level.

North Dakota[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level.

South Dakota[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level.

East North Central Division[edit]

Illinois[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.

Indiana[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for public employees by executive order. While the state has not enacted any anti-discrimination legislation, discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation is banned in Indiana under the case of Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College.[2]

Michigan[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for state public employees by executive order. While the state has not explicitly enacted anti-discrimination legislation, discrimination in employment based on both sexual orientation and gender identity is interpreted by the Michigan Civil Rights Commission as being banned under the category of sex of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.[76] The case of EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes has also established gender identity protections.[15]

Ohio[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for public employees by executive order.2 While the state has not enacted any anti-discrimination legislation, discrimination in employment based on gender identity is banned in Ohio under the case of EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes.[15]

Wisconsin[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for both public and private employees by state statute.

North-East Region[edit]

New England Division[edit]

Connecticut[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.

Maine[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.

Massachusetts[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.[126]

New Hampshire[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.[127]

Rhode Island[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.

Vermont[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.

Middle Atlantic Division[edit]

New Jersey[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.

New York[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute and state regulation.

Pennsylvania[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for public employees only by executive order.

South Region[edit]

West South Central Division[edit]

Arkansas[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level.5

Louisiana[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level.

Oklahoma[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level.

Texas[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level. However, in April 2018, a federal judge in Texas, specifically U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, ruled that although a woman hadn't proven she had been discriminated against for being transgender by the company Phillips 66, if that had been proven, then the woman would have "had a case" under Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964,[164][165] the judge, who had been appointed by President George H. W. Bush in 1992, cited other recent cases as shaping the final decision.[164]

East South Central Division[edit]

Alabama[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level. While the state has not enacted any anti-discrimination legislation, discrimination in employment based on gender identity is banned in Alabama under the case of Glenn v. Brumby.

Kentucky[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for public employees by executive order. While the state has not enacted any anti-discrimination legislation, discrimination in employment based on gender identity is banned in Kentucky under the case of EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes.[15]

Mississippi[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level.

Tennessee[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level.3 While the state has not enacted any anti-discrimination legislation, discrimination in employment based on gender identity is banned in Tennessee under the case of EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes.[15]

South Atlantic Division[edit]

Delaware[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.

District of Columbia[edit]

Prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by statute.

Florida[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level. While the state has not enacted any anti-discrimination legislation, discrimination in employment based on gender identity is banned in Florida under the case of Glenn v. Brumby.

Georgia[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level. While the state has not enacted any anti-discrimination legislation, discrimination in employment based on gender identity is banned in Georgia under the case of Glenn v. Brumby.

Maryland[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by state statute.

North Carolina[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for public employees only by executive order.4

Puerto Rico[edit]

Prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees by statute.

South Carolina[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level.

United States Virgin Islands[edit]

There is no legal prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for both public and private employees on a statewide level.

Virginia[edit]

Statewide prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for public employees only by executive order.

West Virginia[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • 1 Statewide executive order against employment discrimination on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity were allowed to expire in February 2015 under Governor Sam Brownback.
  • 2 Statewide executive order against employment discrimination on the basis of just gender identity were allowed to expire in January 2011 under Governor John Kasich.
  • 3 The Tennessee Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act blocks any local unit of government from barring discrimination on any basis not already covered by state law to private businesses.
  • 4 The North Carolina Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act blocks any local unit of government from barring discrimination on any basis not already covered by state law to private businesses.
  • 5 The Arkansas Intrastate Commerce Improvement Act blocks any local unit of government from barring discrimination on any basis not already covered by state law to private businesses.

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