In 37 states plus Washington, D.C., same-sex couples now have the freedom to marry.
Yet only 21 states have passed legislation that bans discrimination against lesbian, gay, and bisexual people in vital areas of life, including employment, housing, and public accommodations. Similarly, only 18 states explicitly protect transgender people from discrimination. This means that in 16 states and counting, same-sex couples can legally marry and can then be legally fired from their jobs, evicted from their apartments, denied credit, refused hotel rooms, and discriminated against in education all because of their sexual orientation. Should the U.S. Supreme Court rule in favor of marriage equality in June, this paradox of rights for same-sex couples will exist in 29 states. To learn more about the need for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, nondiscrimination protections, read the Center for American Progress report “We the People: Why Congress and U.S. States Must Pass Comprehensive LGBT Non-Discrimination Protections.”
Sarah McBride is a Research Associate for LGBT Progress at the Center for American Progress.