New Report & Ad: Public Places at Heart of Fight for LGBT Equality

New report and ad shows patchworks of nondiscrimination protections in public accommodations put LGBT people at risk

(Denver, January 16, 2018)-The U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to issue a ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case involving a business asking the Court for a Constitutional right to refuse service to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The central issue in this case is about public accommodations-places of business, public transit, taxi cabs, restaurants-and whether or not they can turn customers away just because of who they are or whom they love.

Today, the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) launched a new report, LGBT Policy Spotlight: Public Accommodations Nondiscrimination Laws, that provides a comprehensive overview of the patchwork of federal, state, and local protections against discrimination in public spaces. The report is released in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute, Freedom for All Americans, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

To accompany the report, MAP's latest ad, "Movie Theater," depicts how transgender people can experience harassment, discrimination and denial of equal treatment in places of public accommodation. View the ad at .

"This report highlights what is at stake in our courts, at the ballot, and in our legislatures: basic human dignity. The very ability of LGBT people to be in public and participate fully in everyday life is under coordinated attack," said Ineke Mushovic, MAP executive director. "From bathroom bans to ballot measures aimed at stripping away nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people, it's shameful that we are still debating whether it should be legal to discriminate against someone or turn them away from a business simply because of who they are."

Despite these efforts, several states, including New Hampshire and Wisconsin, are considering legislation to expand nondiscrimination protections to include transgender people, and cities in many states are working to pass local ordinances that would protect LGBT people in public spaces.

"Securing comprehensive public accommodations protections is a critical component of winning full LGBTQ equality in America," said Masen Davis , CEO of Freedom for All Americans, the campaign to secure LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections nationwide. "Passing laws that prohibit discrimination in public places because of who they are, or who they love, allows LGBTQ people to go about their daily lives with comfort and security, and to be their most authentic selves. Like anyone else, LGBTQ people must access places of public accommodation-such as shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, and doctors' offices-to take care of themselves and their loved ones. This important resource demonstrates what's at stake when cities and states permit discrimination at the most fundamental level."

"Most people take for granted that they can use the same businesses and services as other people without fear of being turned away or mistreated for who they are, whether for day-to-day needs like going to the store, or for life-saving services like accessing a domestic violence shelter. For many transgender people, however, these kinds of public accommodations can be sites of routine discrimination, humiliation, and even violence. Those high rates of discrimination-including denial of treatment, harassment, and physical assault-were reflected in 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey , a study of nearly 28,000 transgender adults. When places of public accommodation are free to discriminate against transgender people, entire transgender communities are given a clear and painful message that they are not welcome to take part in public life. LGBT Policy Spotlight: Public Accommodations Nondiscrimination Laws highlights the real dangers of anti-LGBTQ discrimination in public accommodations, and the real need for laws that protect everyone from mistreatment in these settings."

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