Special Report

These Are the 23 States with Little or No Protections to LGBTQ People

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1. Alabama
> Pct. of population that identifies as LGBTQ: 3.1%

Alabama is one of nine states with numerous laws actively hostile to LGBTQ residents, among other things permitting medical professionals and child welfare agencies (if they don’t receive public funds) to invoke a religious exemption in denying services based on sexual orientation or gender identity. (Alabama is the only state in the nation with a constitutional religious exemption law.)

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2. Arizona
> Pct. of population that identifies as LGBTQ: 4.5%

Arizona lacks protections for LGBTQ parents seeking to adopt, and there is no LGBTQ-inclusive language in its state family-leave laws. There is also no ban on conversion therapy and there are no state laws prohibiting lenders from denying services based on sexual orientation or gender identity. State hate-crime laws cover sexual orientation but not gender identity.

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3. Arkansas
> Pct. of population that identifies as LGBTQ: 3.3%

Arkansas is one of nine states with laws specifically targeting LGBTQ people rather than just excluding them from anti-discrimination statutes. The state prohibits cities and counties from passing nondiscrimination laws involving LGBTQ communities and applies a broad interpretation of religious exemptions that allows medical professionals to deny services based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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4. Florida
> Pct. of population that identifies as LGBTQ: 4.6%

Florida has no anti-discrimination or anti-bullying laws covering LGBTQ students and it lacks transgender-inclusive benefits for state employees. Hate-crime laws cover sexual orientation but not gender identity.

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5. Georgia
> Pct. of population that identifies as LGBTQ: 4.5%

Georgia is another state with laws specifically targeting LGBTQ people, not just anti-discrimination laws excluding them. For example, Georgia denies name changes for people based on gender identity and specifically targets people based on gender identity in its state Medicaid policy. Georgia has no ban on conversion therapy.