Research Shows Attacks on LGBTQ+ Rights by Gov. DeSantis and other Anti-Equality Lawmakers Has Devastating Economic and Business Consequences

Todd Sears of Out Leadership says, “There are economic consequences to discrimination and economic opportunities from inclusion. We continue to measure sustained and considerable business growth and investment in states where LGBTQ+ rights are fully embraced.”


NEW YORK CITY, NY – With the recent news that Disney has scrapped plans for a new campus in Florida citing “changing business conditions,” Todd Sears, the founder and CEO of Out Leadership, the premier global LGBTQ+ organization harnessing the power of business to drive equality, today released the following statement:

Disney’s decision to not build their new campus in Florida has cost the citizens of that state 2,000 new jobs and can be directly tied to Governor DeSantis’ continued political attacks on LGBTQ+ individuals, women, and people of color. Despite corporations trending decisively towards equality, these actions by Governor DeSantis, and anti-equality leaders in other states, continue to threaten businesses and subsequently their local economies.

Since Out Leadership launched our State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index five years ago, we have measured sustained and considerable growth in corporate investment in places where LGBTQ+ rights are embraced. Subsequently, we continue to see small pockets of the country, like Florida and elsewhere, where decisions by companies to either leave the state or limit growth in a particular location are oftentimes a direct result of a polarized, political climate related to constant attacks on LGBTQ+ equality, women, and racial equity.

Major companies today have fully embraced equality because it’s good for business, attracts the best talent, and is a long-term model for success. These multinational companies continue to relocate to places where they can recruit the best talent and not have to worry about state and local laws hindering their business’ ability to achieve success. Companies simply don’t want to be at odds with the business policies and practices of the state they operate in, and they certainly don’t want to feel attacked by them.”

Out Leadership Research Shows:

  • Discriminatory policies create unnecessary risk in the market for profit-maximizing businesses to operate. When North Carolina passed HB2, Out Leadership joined a coalition of investors representing $2.1 trillion in assets to oppose the discriminatory law. The consequences of HB2 cost North Carolina over $395 million.
  • States that discriminate repulse top talent, alienate consumers, discourage investment, and prevent educators from equipping the next generation of workers.
    • 24% of LGBTQ+ workers have already moved to a different city because of its attitudes toward LGBTQ+ people
    • 36% of LGBTQ+ workers consider moving to a more inclusive state to live and work.
    • Prospective college students are shunning Florida over its anti-LGBTQ stances.
  • In 2021, when Texas banned certain banks that took political stances on guns and fossil fuels from underwriting municipal bonds, the reduction in competition cost Texas taxpayers an additional $500 million dollars in interest in just eight months. Texans paid heftily for the cost of discrimination.

For interviews with Todd Sears of Out Leadership, please contact Kristofer Eisenla at


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