June 1, 2022, New York, US
NEW YORK – Out Leadership, the premier global network for LGBTQ+ business leaders and companies, today unveiled the State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index for 2022 and accompanying U.S. State CEO Business Briefs.
The State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index, published against a backdrop of sustained attacks on transgender and LGBTQ+ rights in state legislatures around the US., gives each state a score out of 100 points, based on 20 carefully selected and nuanced markers assessing LGBTQ+ people’s lived experiences across 5 broader categories including Legal and Nondiscrimination Protections, Youth and Family Support, Political & Religious Attitudes, Health Access and Safety, Work Environment and Employment.
The 2022 Index results reveal some significant steps forward for some states. At the same time, the coordinated legislative pushback against LGBTQ+ rights on a state level have caused some states to fall farther behind when it comes to protecting their LGBTQ+ citizens.
2022 State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index Highlights:
- New York is the highest ranking state in LGBTQ+ equality for the second year in a row, scoring 93.67 out of 100 points, an increase of 1 point.
- South Carolina is the lowest ranking state in LGBTQ+ equality for the third year in a row, scoring 33.63 out of 100 points.
- The highest mover was Alaska, with an increase of 8.1 points between 2021 and 2022. This was due to the implementation of positive legal & nondiscrimination protections, as well as improvements in youth & family support.
- The second highest mover was Michigan, as a result of new anti-workplace discrimination policies, health insurance protections for the LGBTQ+ community, and a ban on the use of government funds on conversion therapy for minors.
- The largest changes in scores between 2021 and 2022 were as a result of changes in Legal and Nondiscrimination Protections, as well as Youth and Family Support.
- This year’s Index reveals the impact of recent anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in states such as Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Montana, and Kentucky.
- In Oklahoma, the impact of a “Don’t Say Gay” bill moved the state down 3 places from 45th to 49th place.
- Florida’s version of the same bill, amongst other anti-LGBTQ+ state legislation, caused a 3.4 point decrease, the third greatest decrease out of all states.
- The average score across all 50 states was 64.61 out of 100 – a slight increase on last year’s average 64.03.
- The gap between the top states and the lowest states continues to grow. While the top ranked states for LGBTQ+ equality broadly increased in score, the bottom ranked states decreased in score or remained stagnant – this signals increasing polarization across the country in political and cultural attitudes toward the LGBTQ+ community.
“The 2022 State Level Business Climate Index is a living roadmap, highlighting the places where we must be both reactive and proactive, says Todd Sears, Founder & CEO, Out Leadership.
“While the top ranked states for LGBTQ+ equality broadly increased in score, the bottom ranked states decreased in score or remained stagnant. This signals a widening gap across the country between the ideology of equality and the tactics used to achieve or dismantle it. All of these shifts, for better and worse, are happening in a country that has never been more polarized. Any number of factors have contributed to this fact: Covid, the January 6th insurrection, pending landmark Supreme Court decisions, and the upcoming midterm elections, to name a few. Each of these events and many more fuel a fire that motivates those organized in opposition to equality. Likewise, Out Leadership and leaders like you are equally motivated to respond to these attacks. The 2022 State Level Business Climate Index is a living roadmap, highlighting the places where we must be both reactive and proactive.”
About the LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index
This report provides business leaders with actionable information about the climate in which they conduct business and quantify the economic imperative for inclusion and the cost of discrimination through this transparent assessment of the landscape of LGBTQ+ inclusion in America.
Out Leadership’s LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index was launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos 7 years ago. The CEO Business Briefs for the U.S. States are an expansion of the global CEO briefs for 24 countries and have been used by hundreds of CEOs globally.
The LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index gives each state a score out of 100 points, based on 20 carefully selected and nuanced markers assessing LGBTQ+ people’s lived experiences across 5 broader categories:
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 LGBTQ+ people?
- Do any other nondiscrimination policies in the state apply to LGBTQ+ people?
Youth and Family Support
- How supportive is the state of LGBTQ+ people who are in or want to start families?
- What resources are available to LGBTQ+ children and youth in the state?
- Is conversion therapy banned for minors?
- Can educators discuss LGBTQ+ issues and identities in schools?
Political & Religious Attitudes
- Has the governor recently spoken or campaigned against LGBTQ+ issues?
- Has the junior Senator recently spoken or campaigned against LGBTQ+ issues?
- Has the senior Senator recently spoken or campaigned against LGBTQ+ issues?
- To what extent does the state allow for religious exemptions from its laws?
Health Access and Safety
- Do LGBTQ+ people, particularly the most vulnerable and economically precarious, have access to health care and insurance?
- Do state employees receive transgender-inclusive health benefits?
- Are LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ people are unemployed, and how does it compare to the unemployment rate of non-LGBTQ+ people in the state?
- What percentage of LGBTQ+ people experience food insecurity, and how does it compare to the unemployment rate of non-LGBTQ+ people in the state?
- What percentage of LGBTQ+ people have an annual income below $24,000 (approximately the federal poverty line)?
The Index was funded by the Gill Foundation, as part of its support of Out Leadership’s CEO Business Briefs for the 50 U.S. States. It is based on data generously provided by Out Leadership’s partners at the Williams Institute, the United States Transgender Survey, and the Movement Advancement Project.
About Out Leadership
Out Leadership is the world’s first and only LGBTQ+ corporation whose sole product is Equality. Out Leadership harnesses the power of business to drive equality by connecting LGBTQ+ and leaders across the globe, advocating for inclusion at every level, from employee to executive to CEO.
With 94 member companies (including Amazon, American Express, Bloomberg, Citi, Coca-Cola, Comcast, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, IBM, Microsoft, Nike and Walmart), Out Leadership partners with 56 non-profits (GLAAD, Freedom for All Americans, Lambda Legal, Transgender Law Center, to name a few) and donates over 20% of its net-profit every year to global LGBTQ+ non profits.