LGBTQ Population Health: An Examination of State and Local Laws & Open Source Data

The public health issue: LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) populations experience higher rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) compared to the general population. Stress due to discrimination and other socio-psycho-cultural factors are associated with higher rates of high risk sexual behavior. LGBTQ populations may also face barriers to accessing healthcare services.

Our contribution to the solution: We teamed up with legal researchers from the National Nurse-led Care Consortium (NNCC) to examine the relationship between STI rates among LGBTQ populations and the law. The study involved an assessment of laws in 30 areas, encompassing 27 states and the District of Columbia, 282 counties, and 165 principal cities.

What we found: The resulting legal dataset includes state- and local-level laws that protect against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, and criminal justice, as well as laws that recognize same-sex marriage, domestic partnerships, and civil unions.

The legal environment can attempt to reduce discrimination against sexual minorities and can mitigate some of the adverse health impacts. This data can contribute to a better understanding of the complex interplay between the legal environment impacting LGBTQ individuals and STI prevention in LGBTQ populations. Furthermore, this work will provide a research framework for continued examination of the impact of state laws on the health of sexual minorities.

Partners: National Nurse-led Care Consortium

Funders: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

The following links are downloadable open source data files:

Methodology

Access City LGBT Legal Data

Access County LGBT Legal Data

Access State LGBT Legal Data

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