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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.


Kids Pay the Price

Freedom of religion is an important American value, which is why it is already protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. That freedom doesn’t give people the right to impose their beliefs on others or to discriminate. Yet a growing number of states, and the federal government, have passed or are considering legislation that would allow child placement and adoption agencies to do just that, while providing government services paid for with taxpayer money.

In 2018, three more states, Kansas, South Carolina and Oklahoma, passed these adoption discrimination bills, bringing the total to ten states that have these dangerous and discriminatory license-to-discriminate bills.

The “Kids Pay the Price” ad warns what could happen when states allow child service agencies to put individual beliefs before the best interests of children. When states allow child services decisions to be based on religious beliefs and not the best interests of children, it’s kids who pay the price.

Watch the "Kids Pay the Price" ad and take action! Learn more at Every Child Deserves a Family.

Related Resources


Kids Pay the Price Ad

September 2017 - When states allow child services decisions to be based on religious beliefs and not the best interests of kids, it’s kids who pay the price. Learn more in this powerful new ad from MAP that FOX News Channel refused to air.


Kids Pay the Price: How Religious Exemptions for Child Welfare Services Harm Children

September 2017 - This report details how religious exemptions for child welfare providers hurt children and vulnerable families. Agencies that provide services to children and parents should focus on providing loving, stable homes for children and helping families in need. Instead, these laws encourage and enable adoption agencies and their workers to reject qualified parents who don’t share the agency’s or worker’s religious beliefs.


Infographics: Kids Pay the Price

September 2017 - From the pages of Kids Pay the Price come a set of infographics, including: 'Beyond Michigan,' 'Cost to States,' 'Thousands of Children,' and more.


Religious Exemption Laws

September 2017 - Targeted religious exemptions permit state-licensed child welfare agencies to refuse to place and provide services to children and families, including LGBT people and same-sex couples, if doing so conflicts with their religious beliefs.

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