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A Comparison of LGBT Workplace Policies and Religiosity by State

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees working for the federal government have anti-discrimination workplace protections; however, there are no uniform laws governing private and state-level employees. While public attitudes toward LGBT workers are becoming more accepting, federal policies are seemingly lagging behind. Despite incomplete protections on the federal level, some LGBT employees are protected by state laws. State-level policies are varied, however, and range from those that offer full protections for all employees to those that offer no protections to any employees. Many have noted the impact of religiosity on attitudes toward LGBT individuals, which may impact state-level policies. This study examines both the protections for LGBT workers offered by each state, as well as each state’s reported religiosity. Data from a recent Center for American Progress report on state-level LGBT work policies, as well as a 2009 Gallop survey on state-level religiosity, are used. Findings point to the possible impacts of religiosity. Additional research is needed to better understand state-level attitudes and obstacles to LGBT employee rights, as well as the efficacy of LGBT workplace policies.

To view the rest of this research report, click here.


Author: Heather Hanna is a student at Mississippi State University and a 2013 Founders’ Forum Fellow.

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The American Society for Public Administration is the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration. It is dedicated to advancing the art, science, teaching and practice of public and non-profit administration.

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