Discover our research framework or check out
the full metrics list
This year, we’ve reformed the Index to focus on unhoused youth and young adults (YYA), aligning it with their experiences and policy needs. Shifting from harm reduction to transformative change, some jurisdictions may see lower scores than before. This is a deliberate strategy, not a setback. Lower scores should motivate, not discourage, jurisdictions. They present an opportunity to adopt policies that effectively tackle and prevent youth homelessness, fostering meaningful progress.
Religious Exemption Laws Affecting LGBTQ+ Rights
The jurisdiction has religious exemption laws
“Broad state religious exemption laws, sometimes called “Religious Freedom Restoration Acts” or RFRAs, permit people, churches, non-profit organizations, and sometimes corporations to seek exemptions from state laws that burden their religious beliefs. The individual person or organization must seek out an exemption, such as through court proceedings….Targeted exemptions provide a blanket exemption, or license to discriminate, to anyone operating in a specific area such as child welfare services, medical care, businesses serving the public, or government officials/employees solemnizing marriages.”
Movement Advancement Project. “Equality Maps: Religious Exemption Laws.” https://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/religious_exemption_laws (12/19/2023)
|Type of Policy
|No law found
|Jurisdiction has religious exemption laws
Cite: National Homelessness Law Center and True Colors United. "State Index on Youth Homelessness, Religious Exemption Laws Affecting LGBTQ+ Rights" https://youthstateindex.com/maps/religious-exemption-laws-affecting-lgbtq-rights/. Accessed: February 24, 2024.
LGBTQ+ youth and young adults are one of the most-overrepresented groups experiencing homelessness, comprising anywhere from 20-40% of all unhoused young people but less than 10% of the general population. Studies by Chapin Hall have found that unhoused LGBTQ+ young people had over twice the rate of early death compared to their peers and experienced higher levels of violence and exploitation while homeless. Laws that sanction discrimination against LGBTQ+ young people and that criminalize, dehumanize and erase non-binary and trans youth only exacerbate this crisis. We currently track harmful and violent laws, as well as laws protecting, celebrating, and honoring LGBTQ+ youth, as they relate to education or to accessing accurate identity documents. Eventually, we will track how well jurisdictions prioritize ending and preventing LGBTQ+ homelessness and whether homelessness services within that jurisdiction are tailored to meet the needs of these youth.
“People who disclose their identity are putting themselves at risk, to live their life as their authentic self. What does this mean for personal safety? Accessing resources can already be a challenge for trans and non-binary young people, and even more challenging to find affirming care and support.” – Diamond Dumas
(racism, ableism, anti-trans/queerness, etc.)
Anti-oppression is an essential component of creating a just and equitable society. It is crucial to acknowledge the systemic oppression faced by marginalized communities, including racism, ableism, anti-trans/queerness, and other forms of oppression. In the context of housing, these oppressions manifest in various ways, such as discriminatory rental practices, inaccessible housing for people with disabilities, and harassment and violence against marginalized communities.
To combat these injustices, it is essential to implement anti-oppressive policies and practices in the housing sector. This includes creating inclusive housing policies that prioritize the needs of marginalized communities, providing accessible housing for people with disabilities, and addressing discrimination and harassment through legal measures. By prioritizing anti-oppression in housing, we can create a more just and equitable society where everyone has access to safe and affordable housing, regardless of their identity or background.