The Movement Advancement Project ( MAP ), in partnership with Lambda Legal, released a new report, "LGBT Policy Spotlight: LGBT Equality in the U.S. Territories," that focuses on the status of LGBT equality for the more than 3.5 million residents of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
For more than 10 years, MAP has tracked state-level LGBT laws and policies across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. With the release of this report, MAP is now actively tracking LGBT-related laws and policies in the five populated U.S. territories. The Equality Maps can be found at LGBTmap.org/equality-maps.
Among the findings:
Puerto Rico has the highest overall LGBT policy tally of the five territories as well as the highest sexual-orientation policy tally ( 11.5/20 ) and gender-identity policy tally ( 10.25/20.5 ). Based on its LGBT-related laws and policies, Puerto Rico has a similar overall LGBT policy tally as Delaware and Maine.
Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands all have a "low" LGBT policy tally. American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands fall between North Dakota, Louisiana, Oklahoma and South Carolina ( 0.5/40.5 ), while the U.S. Virgin Islands ( 5.5/40.5 ) falls between Arizona and Kentucky. Guam ( 7/40.5 ) falls between Kentucky and Indiana.
Guam has a "medium" sexual-orientation policy tally identical to that of Pennsylvania and Michigan, while the other three territories have "low" sexual orientation policy tallies. Notably, both Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands have "negative" gender identity policy tallies similar to Arizona and Alabama, respectively. American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands have "low" gender-identity policy tallies.
In addition, report looks at seven broad categories, including relationship and parental recognition, non-discrimination laws, LGBT youth laws and policies, healthcare laws and policies, criminal justice laws, and accurate identity documents. Within these categories, the report reviews the more than 39 laws and policies that impact LGBT people and their families.
The full report is at lgbtmap.org/policy-spotlight-us-territories .