In order to guarantee that all members of the LGBTQ community are safeguarded from discrimination, states and localities must implement a comprehensive set of protections. This report provides evidence to demonstrate the importance of these reference points in guaranteeing the protections that all LGBTQ people need to take part fully and equally in society. Ashe McGovern, a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress's LGBT Research and Communication Project, focuses on issues related to poverty and criminalization in LGBTQ communities. To ensure equal opportunities in the daily lives of all LGBTQ people, protections against LGBTQ discrimination must be comprehensive and inclusive.
These experiences of employment discrimination and the resulting job insecurity contribute to increasing poverty rates throughout the LGBTQ community, particularly in transgender communities and communities of color. In fighting for equality, LGBTQ people deserve the same protection from discrimination that is provided to other communities. Initiatives are underway in all 50 states to change hearts, minds and laws in support of the lives of LGBTQ youth. The Obama administration has taken steps to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in programs that receive federal funding and in federal jobs. These disparities are especially important for communities of color and, in particular, for transgender communities of color.
For the past half century, activists have helped lay the groundwork for local, state and federal laws to protect historically marginalized communities from discrimination. LGBTQ people also report high rates of discrimination when trying to safely access public accommodation in the spaces they travel through every day. Given the high rates of discrimination experienced by LGBTQ people both in the hiring process and in the workplace, labor protections are a vital component of any state anti-discrimination law. These experiences contribute to high rates of insecurity and homelessness in LGBTQ communities.