Rhode Island

LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in the States

Rhode Island
Full Statewide LGBT Non-Discrimination Protections
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LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Rhode Island:

Since 1995, Rhode Island has protected people from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation. In 2001, that law was expanded to include gender identity and expression.

The Path to LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Rhode Island:

  • 1983: The Rhode Island Alliance for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights is founded to begin the push for an anti-discrimination law.
  • 1984: The first legislation to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation is introduced in the Rhode Island legislature by Rep. Linda J. Kushner. This bill and similar legislation filed over the next nine years would continue to fail.
  • 1985: Governor Edward D. DiPrete signs an executive order banning discrimination against gays and lesbians in state government.
  • May 20, 1995: The long-debated statewide anti-discrimination bill is passed in the legislature and signed by Governor Lincoln C. Almond, making Rhode Island the ninth state in the country to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
  • July 19, 2001: Rhode Island’s anti-discrimination law is updated to include gender identity and expression.
  • March 21, 2016: With the School Committee’s unanimous approval, Cumberland School District becomes the first in the state to enact an official and specific policy protecting transgender students.
  • June 6, 2016: The Rhode Island Department of Education releases guidelines to schools on how to protect transgender students, including guidance on allowing trans students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

Last Updated February 7, 2018