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Are you out at work? Do you feel safe being out at work and not worried about being fired for LGBT?Any mention of Pride? Can you talk about Pride?
Out Leadership rated all 50 states on their safe and empowering living environments by examining each state’s legislative policies and social attitudes.
The major categories and subcategories used by Out Leadership for consideration were:
Legal and Nondiscrimination Protections
How difficult is it to change a gender marker on a birth certificate?
How difficult is it to change a gender marker on a driver’s license?
Does the state have any employment nondiscrimination policies for LGBT+ people?
Do any other nondiscrimination policies in the state apply to LGBT+ people?
Youth and Family Support
How supportive is the state of LGBT+ people who are in or want to start families?
What resources are available to LGBT+ children and youth in the state?
Is conversion therapy banned for minors?
Can educators discuss LGBT+ issues and identities in schools?
Political & Religious Attitudes
Has the governor recently spoken or campaigned against LGBT+ issues?
Has the junior Senator recently spoken or campaigned against LGBT+ issues?
Has the senior Senator recently spoken or campaigned against LGBT+ issues?
To what extent does the state allow for religious exemptions from its laws?
Health Access and Safety
Do LGBT+ people, particularly the most vulnerable and economically precarious, have access to health care and insurance?
Do state employees receive transgender inclusive health benefits?
Are LGBT+ people protected by any hate crimes laws in the state?
Is exposure of others to and transmission of HIV criminalized?
Work Environment and Employment
At what rate are transgender people subjected to harassment at work?
What percentage of LGBT+ people are unemployed, and how does it compare to the unemployment rate of non-LGBT+ people in the state?
What percentage of LGBT+ people experience food insecurity, and how does it compare to the unemployment rate of non-LGBT+ people in the state?
What percentage of LGBT+ people have annual income below $24,000 (approximately the federal poverty line)?
Out Leadership gave each state a score out of 100 points, based on the 20 markers above.
The Business Climate Index has the New England state of Massachusetts topping the list as the best place to be an LGBT Employee. MA has the highest rating for LGBT employees and residents feeling most comfortable with their economic contributions. Its neighbor to the south, Connecticut comes in third while a hop to the west coat and to California is needed to find the state ranked second.
Heading on down to the deep south gets us to the lowest state on the list, Mississippi. The gulf state came in last place with a score of 31.17 out of 100.
Screen shot from State LGBT+ Business Climate Index
So do we just given them all a ranking and move on? Or is there room for improvement?
The certified B Corp. recently unveiled CEO Business Briefs, research on how to be more inclusive to LGBT employees. Out Leadership is working to help businesses and corporations better understand how to respond to the potential discriminatory factors that could impact employees of the LGBT community.
“If a company is good for LGBT people in general, if they are inclusive at a bottom line, it’s going to impact and help everyone whether they’re trans, or intersex, or gender non-binary,” said Sears.
How do you feel your state measures up? Does it match Out Leadership’s findings?