Human Rights Campaign Foundation releases 7th annual State Equality Index


MARYLAND (WDVM) — The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the Equality Federation Institute released its annual State Equality Index – and Maryland’s laws ranked in the highest category.

The report details statewide laws and policies and assesses how well each state protects LGBTQ people from discrimination. Maryland’s LGBTQ laws have ranked in the “working toward innovative equality” category. According to the foundation, Maryland has solidified core protections so that LGBTQ people can’t be discriminated against in employment, housing, and their day-to-day lives; but the state still has some work to do.

“Some of the things we’d love to see Maryland tackle is making sure that, when we do measures of adults’ experiences in healthcare, that sexual orientation/gender identity is one of the questions that gets asked about,” said Sarah Warbelow, Legal Director for the Human Rights Campaign. “We’d also really like to see Maryland tackle discrimination in insurance plans and jury service.”

  • Nineteen states and the District of Columbia are in the highest-rated category, “Working Toward Innovative Equality”: California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; District of Columbia; Hawaii; Illinois; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; and Washington.
  • Two states are in the category “Solidifying Equality”: Iowa; and Virginia.
  • Four states are in the category “Building Equality”: Kansas; Pennsylvania; Utah; and Wisconsin.
  • Twenty-Five states are in the lowest-rated category “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality”: Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; Florida; Georgia; Idaho; Indiana; Kentucky; Louisiana; Michigan; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; West Virginia; and Wyoming.

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