Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's going to be a long 4 years

Nan Hunter, writing at the blog Hunter of Justice looks at the map of the US from the point of view of LGBT rights. The states that have any recognition for LGBT people , such as antidiscrimination laws, and/or partnership/marriage protections, are left white. (However, many of the white states are explicitly anti-marriage so it's a pretty low bar.) The remaining states are blue (for Democratic legislature and governor), red (for Republican) and purple (for mixed). Unsurprisingly, the white states are largely blue or purple.

However, in important swing states where at least an employment law should be an achievable goal - Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania - there is a solid red wall. The same wall extends to large states that should be targets for job protection laws in five years: Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Virginia.

Montana is an exception to the pattern, in that it is a totally blue, non-southern state that does not have either an anti-discrimination law covering lgbt people or a mechanism for recognition of gay relationships. …

For the most part, though, the maps illustrate that at least for the next few years, advances in lgbt rights are likely to continue...in the states that already have the best laws. And there is likely to be virtually no forward movement in the rest of the nation. On this set of issues, the red/blue split in legal and political geography is going to get much sharper.
What I find striking is that even by the low standards of ANY pro-LGBT legislation, so much of this country is unfriendly. I am so fortunate to live in a state where I can be out, let alone be married. How brave, how lonely, how threatened must the LGBT in the red states feel.


james said...

California really is an oasis. I believe that at this time, if the economy were better, there would be more gains. When things are bad, most people look to a scape goat, and the aren't about to give those uppity gays anything smacking of equity.

JCF said...

In many ways, I miss Michigan (left in June '10).

I don't miss its homophobic laws, however.