Ensuring that LGBTI people – i.e. lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender and intersex individuals – can live as who they are without being discriminated against or attacked should concern us all, for at least three reasons. The first and most important reason is obviously ethical. Sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics are integral aspects of our selves. Guaranteeing that LGBTI people are not condemned to forced concealment or to retaliation when their identity is revealed is crucial for them to live their lives as themselves, without pretence. The second reason is economic. Discrimination against LGBTI people hinders economic development through a wide range of channels. For instance, it causes lower investment in human capital due to LGBTI-phobic bullying at school as well as poorer returns on educational investment in the labour market. Anti-LGBTI discrimination also reduces economic output by excluding LGBTI talents from the labour market and impairing their mental and physical health, hence their productivity. The third reason why LGBTI inclusion should constitute a top policy priority is social. LGBTI inclusion is viewed as conducive to the emergence of less restrictive gender norms that improve gender equality broadly speaking.
This report provides a comprehensive overview of the extent to which laws in OECD countries ensure equal treatment of LGBTI people, and of the complementary policies that could help foster LGBTI inclusion. The report first identifies the legislative and regulatory frameworks that are critical for the inclusion of sexual and gender minorities. The report then explores whether these laws are in force in OECD countries and examines the margin for further improvement. Finally, the report presents the broader policy measures that should accompany LGBTI-inclusive laws in order to strengthen the inclusion of LGBTI people.