A new study on the state of the workplace for lesbians and gays finds that in 2002, more US cities and counties passed ant-discrimination laws protecting lesbian and gay workers than in any other year. The Human Rights Campaign study reports that 119 cities and 23 counties have passed laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace, including 15 last year.
However, it is still legal to discriminate in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation in 37 states, and on the basis of gender identity or expression in 44 states. “City ordinance is the only form of protection in states where discrimination in the workplace is allowed,” said Daryl Herrschaft, chief author of the study, according to Gay.com.
The study also found that at least 61 percent of Fortune 500 employers had non-discrimination policies covering sexual orientation. The number of Fortune 500 companies that provided domestic partner benefits rose by 13 percent from 2001, with a total of 169 companies offering these benefits. “When you add it all up, it shows a huge amount of progress for our community,” said Kim Mills, HRC’s education director, according to the Washington Post.