Does it matter where you live? Nondiscrimination laws and the experiences of lgb residents

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Nondiscrimination policies are intended to prohibit discrimination on the basis of specified characteristics. It is also argued that they send a message to minority groups that they are protected and welcomed within that jurisdiction. This study tested the latter supposition by exploring whether lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) residents of states and cities with nondiscrimination policies that included sexual orientation perceived a more positive and less negative environment and experienced less minority stress. An online survey of 2,511 LGB individuals confirmed that inclusive nondiscrimination policies are positively associated with perceptions of fewer negative messages and more positive messages in the environment, higher levels of disclosure of sexual identity and social support, and lower levels of internalized homophobia. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for policy, as well as the limitations of the data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-175
Number of pages8
JournalSexuality Research and Social Policy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank C. Stuart Reedy for his invaluable assistance with the online survey and the LGBT research team at the University of Memphis for their dedicated assistance with the project. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the American Psychological Foundation Wayne Placek Small Grant Award and the Center for Drug and Alcohol Research at the University of Kentucky.


  • Bisexual
  • Gay
  • Lesbian
  • Minority stress
  • Nondiscrimination policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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