Objective. The objective of this article is to examine the degree to which populist features of state governments affect minority interests, particularly gays, lesbians, and bisexuals (GLB)

Method. We examine the effects of specific institutional features that affect state government responsiveness to majority preferences on GLB policies: bans on same-sex marriage and hate crime. We also control for variations in political environment.

Results. Features that increase popular control over policy making and policymakers advance anti-GLB policies but have little effect on pro-GLB policies; however, legislative term limits have the opposite effect. Further, constituency size and senators' term length increases both types of policies.

Conclusions. The findings indicate that an unpopular minority is likely to be harmed by populist features that increase the role of citizens and may be helped by features that shield legislators from majoritarian preferences.