Each student is assigned at random two American states. Part I of the assignment is an audit of each state’s policies across a range of policy issues of importance to LGBTQ communities to see whether and how the states have addressed the issues, comparing each state to the other. Part II addresses the potential reasons for similarities and differences between the states by looking primarily at key political and demographic characteristics of the states. Part III should look in greater depth at one or two specific issues where the states are similar or different and try to account for the outcomes.
Your paper should be typed, double-spaced with one-inch margins in 12 point font, stapled in the upper left-hand corner. Maximum length (excluding list of sources) is five pages. This assignment is due April 15. It is worth 20% of the course grade.
#My assigned 2 states are (Colorado and Maryland)
Part I. Audit and Scorecard. Audit each state’s performance across the set of issues listed below and prepare a ‘scorecard’ for each state that highlights how well each state performs compared to the other. Assign points to each state on each issue area, such as on a scale that runs 0-10, in which states would be assigned lower and higher scores. Make sure that you discuss what the scores mean that you assign on the scorecard. Add up the total score for each state.
* Anti-discrimination – does the state have a law prohibiting discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations?
* Hate Crimes – does the state have a law that addresses hate or bias crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity?
* School Anti-Bullying – does the state have a law that addresses harassment and/or bullying of students based on sexual orientation and gender identity?
* Transgender healthcare – does the state ban insurance exclusions for transgender healthcare?
* Gender Marker Change on Identification Documents – Does the state have policies that make it possible for state residents to make gender marker changes on driver’s licenses and birth certificates?
* Conversion Therapy – Does the state have restrictions on “conversion therapy”?
Note that states that do not have pro-LGBTQ laws in these areas may still have local laws (ordinances) that cover part of the state’s LGBTQ population. Make sure that you note where major population centers in these states have such laws.
Part II. Explaining the Similarities and Differences – The differences between states noted in Part I may reflect political and other differences. For each state, collect the following data listed below. Wherever possible, compare the states assigned to you to the “mean” or “national norm” to give the reader an idea how typical or atypical your state is on these dimensions. Now, make sure that you relate the findings in Part II to those in Part I. Are there any variables that help to explain the differences between states observed in Part I?
* LGBTQ Population density: Which state has a higher proportion of LGBTQ residents? Use U.S. census data on the proportion of adults or households in the state.
* Level of membership in Protestant evangelical sects: Which state has a higher proportion of residents who are members of Protestant evangelical religious sects?
* Political Party Control: Since approximately the mid-1990s, how many years has each chamber in the states’ legislatures been controlled by the Democratic or Republican parties? How many years has each state’s governor been a Democrat or Republican?
* Ideology of the State’s Citizenry: How liberal or conservative is each state’s population?
* Legislative Professionalism: how professionalized is the state’s legislature in terms of legislative days in session, legislators’ pay, number of staff, etc.?
Part III. In-depth Cases. Use one or two of the issues in Part I of the assignment to compare and contrast the two states. How did the issue(s) get on the agenda and gain approval by the government? What actors and forces were responsible for what happened (or failed to happen) in each state?
You should be able to find all of the information and data for Parts I and II in the following websites and Canvas sources. If you cannot find the relevant data using these sources, I strongly recommend that you come to me rather than use alternative sources.
See Protestant Fundamentalism Scores.doc
Part II Bonus Points (optional):
* Interest group membership: Which state has a higher proportion of LGBTQ advocacy group members? Use the number of members of LGBTQ organizations per 1,000 population or some similar measure.