Can You Be Fired For Being Gay In One Of These States?


According to this map, you can be fired for being gay in any one of these 29 states, however, the situation is a bit more complicated than that. Okay, a lot more.

While the 29 states in red lack statewide laws protecting employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, employers can’t necessarily go around firing folks for being L,G,B or T. explains:

Some of those red states have laws which protect public (i.e. government) employee from sexual orientation discrimination (but not those who work in the private sector), some of those states have laws at county or city levels which protect employees in those local areas from such discrimination, and some of those states protect public employees from employment discrimination through means other than laws (e.g., executive orders, administrative orders, personnel regulations).

Maps like these paint a more accurate, and colorful, picture of how employment discrimination works in the U.S.:



And they might also explain why gay marriage may be easier to support than the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, since there are fewer colors to wrap your head around:

states-gay-marriageSource: Freedom to Marry

Of course, if everything was all one color — the color of freedom — we’d all be better off. The color of freedom, by the way…is a film no one bothered to see from 2007.

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  • inspirations365

    Hell yeah, New Jersey! For all the shit everyone gives my state, I’m glad to see that they are leading the charge when it comes to protections for LGBT workers. Just a couple more months until SCOTS overturns Prop 8 and makes civil unions illegal and then we’ll have marriage too. Soon.

  • gppm1103

    Well Lester, maybe if anyone had heard about it we would have watched it. That’s the way it works with the release of a film.

  • hyhybt

    I really wish they’d made the county-by-county map either labeled in some way or zoomable enough to compare it to other maps and see what the isolated blots of purple are, but it’s useful information regardless.

  • Raquel Santiago

    Despite the face that some states have anti-discrimination laws in hiring, many states like California get around this law by making employment at will. They can say anything they want when they terminate you, especially trans people. Such as not professional enough, late to work one day, they will find a reason or make one up and then its up to the individual to prove the real reason.


    I am in fucking Arizona, and Tucson. White Christian republican should be killed!. Get out of Baja AZ! (Tucson and south AZ) if you are Republican! time will come and you will be killed!. AdamHomo

  • Victor_in_PA

    @inspirations365: “Leading the charge?!” Perhaps this is why everyone gives your state so much shit – notice all the dark green that happened before NJ. NJ isn’t winning any awards as long as you’ve got “Tiny” at the helm vetoing equality. Unfortunately, I live in PA which is just the KKK without their hoods. NJ and PA BOTH have a LONG way to go to be considered a haven for gay people. And, the only reason they’re this far is because they’re so close to NY and NYC.

  • Victor_in_PA

    @DOFEK: Please do. Though I wouldn’t want you to be put away for it. They aren’t worth it – really! The thought is there and we all appreciate it. Just don’t do it. You are worth more than they are. We’d rather have you out campaigning that in prison for murder. My heart says yes, my mind says no.

  • the other Greg

    Some of these are surprising and kind of hopeful. I never would have guessed for instance that Kentucky and Kansas cover “sexual orientation and gender identity: state employment.” And what’s that little blue county in the middle of Nebraska, it’s nowhere near Lincoln or Omaha, is there a college there? (I’ll look it up & figure it out, I love maps!) I tend to bitch about the general lack of attention to this subject so I appreciate Queerty’s recent interest in it, thanks!

  • Merv

    Not surprisingly, Alabama and Mississippi got nothing. Then again, Alabama still has school segregation written into its constitution. Voter had an opportunity to repeal it within the last few years, but it failed at the ballot box. Twice.

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