Gay & Lesbian Statistics

  • Gay, lesbian, and bisexual employees can be fired on the basis of their sexual orientation in 36 states. Transgender employees can be fired on the basis of their gender identity and expression in 46 states. Source: Human Rights Campaign

Employment Non-Discrimination Act Quick Facts
Federal Law Currently, there is no federal law protecting individuals from job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Qualified, hardworking Americans can be denied job opportunities, fired or otherwise be discriminated against just because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation. A few examples:

  • A Georgia woman was fired from her job as an award-winning cook when her company adopted a written policy against employing gay people.
  • A married, heterosexual Kansas man was refused a teaching job because a school employee suggested that he might be gay.
  • A Detroit postal worker was harassed and beaten at work because of his perceived sexual orientation and was told by a federal court that, although he had clearly suffered discrimination, "homosexuality is not an impermissible criteria (sic) on which to discriminate" under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Dillon v. Frank, 959 F2d 403 (6th Cir. 1992)

Proposed Legislation
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would provide basic protections against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. ENDA does not create any "special rights." It simply affords to all Americans basic employment protection from discrimination based on irrational prejudice. The bill explicitly prohibits preferential treatment and quotas. In addition, it exempts small businesses, religious organizations and the military, and does not require benefits to the same-sex partners of employees.

Corporations and Small Businesses Endorsing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

Major Corporations
Agilent Technologies Inc., Wilmington, DE Apple Computer, Inc., Cupertino, CA AT&T, New York, NY Bausch & Lomb, Rochester, NY, Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream, South Burlington, VT Borland International, Scotts Valley, CA BP, Chicago, IL Capital One Financial Corp., Falls Church, VA Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., San Francisco, CA Chubb Corp., Warren, NJ Cisco Systems, San Jose, CA, Coors Brewing Co., Golden, CO Corning Inc., Corning, NY Digi-Net Syndication, Tampa, FL Eastman Kodak, Rochester, NY Electronic Arts, Redwood City, CA FleetBoston Financial Corp., Boston, MA Trillium Asset Management, Boston, MA General Mills, Minneapolis, MN Hewlett-Packard Co., Palo Alto, CA, Hill and Knowlton, New York, NY Honeywell, Moristown, NJ IBM, Armonk, NY Imation, Oakdale, MN JP Morgan Chase & Co., New York, NY John Hancock Financial Services Inc., Boston, MA Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA Levi Strauss & Co., San Francisco, CA Louis Dreyfus Corp., Wilton, CT MFS Investment Management, Boston, MA Microsoft, Redmond, WA Millipore Corp., Bedford, MA Nationwide, Columbus, OH, Nike Inc., Beaverton, OR Oracle Corp., Redwood Shores, CA Prudential Insurance Co., Newark, NJ Quark, Denver, CO SGI, Mountain View, CA Shell Oil Co., Houston, TX Software Spectrum Inc., Garland, TX State Street Corp., Boston, MA The Quaker Oats Company, Chicago, IL Triarc Beverage Group, White Plains, NY Verizon Communications, New York, NY Wainwright Bank, Boston, MA Worldspan L.P., Atlanta, GA Xerox, Stamford, CT Yahoo Inc., Sunnyvale, CA

Small Businesses
America's Second Harvest, Chicago, IL Ansafone Communications, Santa Ana, CA Aquila Dallas Marketing, Dallas, TX Atlanta Computer Group, Alpharetta, GA Billingsley Co., Dallas, TX Bridge Capital, Irvine, CA Calvert Group Ltd., Bethesda, MD Ceres Capital Partners, Dallas, TX Corey & Co., Watertown, MA Crow Design Centers, Dallas, TX Donato's Pizza, Boston, MA EduMedia, Round Lake Beach, IL Emerson Partners, Dallas, TX Employon, Cleveland, OH Far West Management, Santa Ana, CA Greater Boston Food Bank, Boston, MA Hall Financial Group, Frisco, TX Homewood Suite Hotels, Lewisville, TX HW Home, Denver, CO I Love Flowers, Dallas, TX James Daniels & Associates, Fort Worth, TX L.A. Associates, Vienna, VA Linkage Inc., Lexington, MA L&M Meridien, Springfield, VA Lopezgarcia Group, Dallas, TX MassEnvelope Plus, Sommerville, MA Memorial Family Medicine Medical Group Inc., Long Beach, CA Microtek Inc., Chicopee, MA Morrisey Associates Inc., Chicago, IL Mozzarella Co., Dallas, TX Nims Associates Inc., Decatur, IL Olivia Cruises & Resorts, Oakland, CA Odell & Associates, Dallas, TX Parma Pediatrics, Parma, OH Phil's CookShop LLC, Lexington, KY Prime Access Inc., New York, NY Rafanelli Events Management Inc., Boston, MA Replacements Ltd., Greensboro, NC Resource One, Columbus, OH Riverview Center for Orthopedic Rehabilitation, Columbus, OH Saddleback Interiors, Corona Del Mar, CA Southern Enterprises Inc., Dallas, TX The Feed Bag Restaurants, Dallas, TX The Staubach Co., Addison, TX Triton Funding Group, San Francisco, CA Visa Rainbow Card, Conshohocken, PA Voice Publishing Co. Inc., Dallas, TX Waters Ford Co. Inc., Blackshear, GA Wheelhouse Corp., Burlington, MA, Dallas, TX Witeck-Combs Communications, Washington, DC Wyndham Jade, Dallas, TX Yellow Cab Cooperative, San Francisco, CA
Source: HRC, Last updated: April 5, 2004

Domestic Partner Benefits

The Private Sector

At least 2,162 U.S. employers have nondiscrimination policies covering sexual orientation, and 4,463 offer health insurance benefits to employees' domestic partners. And the higher a company is on the Fortune 500 list, the more likely it is to have both domestic partner benefits and a written nondiscrimination policy covering sexual orientation.

The Public Sector
The first state to pass a law against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation was Wisconsin in 1982. Eleven states have since followed suit, and eight states have executive orders barring sexual orientation discrimination in their public workforces. In an effort to attract and keep the best workers, scores of public employers have also added domestic partner benefits. Today, eight states and 130 local governments and quasi-governmental agencies offer such coverage to their employees' partners.

Employers that Offer Domestic Partner Health Benefits (Total Number of Results: 7360)

  • Fortune 500 Companies (211)
  • Private Sector Companies (6811)
  • State Governments (10)
  • City and County Governments (130)
  • Colleges and Universities (198)

    For a complete list of companies visit Human Rights Campaign at

Domestic Partners Definition
Although they do not do this for married employees, many employers that provide domestic partner benefits require the employee and his or her domestic partner to sign an "affidavit of domestic partnership" to obtain coverage. Companies are free to structure the affidavit as they choose but many require that domestic partners must be able to demonstrate they:

  • Have lived together for a specified period (generally, at least six months)
  • Are responsible for each other's financial welfare Are not blood relatives
  • Are at least 18 years of age
  • Are mentally competent
  • Are life partners and would get legally married should the option become available
  • Are registered as domestic partners if there is a local domestic partner registry [Find a registry in your area.]
  • Are not legally married to anyone Agree to inform the company in the event that the domestic partnership terminates


    National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
    Human Rights Campaign









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