John M. Becker

The Marriage Equality Map is Filling In. These Others? Not So Much.

Filed By John M. Becker | October 31, 2014 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: gay marriage, infographic, maps, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, trans protections, transgender rights, workplace discrimination, workplace protections

October 2014 has been nothing short of historic on the marriage equality front, with one state after another moving into the freedom-to-marry column. As this handy map from ThinkProgress shows, we're up to 32 states -- plus the District of Columbia -- where same-sex couples enjoy equal marriage rights:

thinkprogress-marriage-map-102114.jpg

But as many of us have been pointing out, employment equality hasn't caught up with marriage equality. In 29 states, including many freedom-to-marry states, it's perfectly legal to fire someone solely because they're gay, lesbian, or bisexual -- meaning that a person could literally marry a same-sex spouse on Saturday and be fired from their job on Monday morning for putting a wedding photo on their desk. (And this, even though nearly three out of every four Americans support employment protections for LGBT people, and almost 90% erroneously believe these protections already exist!)

If you're transgender, the number of states without protections for gender identity -- where you can be legally fired just for being trans -- jumps to 32.

Here's a visual aid, via the Huffington Post:

huffpost-workplace-discrimination.png

And as an enlightening new series of maps from Vocativ shows, when you consider other important transgender rights and protections -- including trans-inclusive anti-bullying and hate crimes laws, coverage for transition-related health care, and procedures allowing trans people to easily obtain accurate gender markers on identity documents -- the landscape is even less friendly.

So while we can -- and absolutely should! -- be excited about how quickly the marriage equality map is filling in, we've still got a lot more work to do.

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