The Best and Worst States for LGBTQ+ Equality

Out Leadership Announces the 6th Annual State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index

NEW YORK – In 2024 alone, over 500 anti-LGBTQ laws were introduced in state legislatures across the nation. Even more alarmingly, for the second year in a row, the Out Leadership State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index found that the political, social, and economic standing of LGBTQ+ Americans has declined. More states are experiencing a deterioration in conditions for LGBTQ+ Americans, as opposed to improvements.

The changes in this year’s Index reflect prevailing trends in American politics and culture. As we enter an election year, the political and cultural environment in the United States has become increasingly polarized with LGBTQ+-friendly states becoming increasingly inclusive while the worst states for equality become evermore hostile to equality and freedom. There is no more room for neutrality. Now, more than ever, businesses need to leverage their economic power to propel LGBTQ+ equality forward in the states in which they conduct business. In doing so, businesses will simultaneously benefit from the favorable business conditions created by a free and inclusive economy.

Launched six years ago, the State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index is a business-lens roadmap of 2o LGBTQ-related data points to measure each state’s record and laws on LGBTQ+ equality. The State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index provides CEOs, business leaders, employees, and government officials with the information, tools, and guidance to prioritize the rights and well-being of their LGBTQ+ employees, customers, and neighbors while simultaneously benefiting from the favorable business conditions created by a free and inclusive economy.

On Monday, June 3rd, Out Leadership will host a virtual launch event, exclusively for its members, to showcase the State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index. Out Leadership Founder & CEO Todd Sears will be joined by Governor Kathy Hochul of New York, Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, and Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina to showcase the successes in and highlight the work that remains to continue advancing LGBTQ+ rights in their respective states. The launch event will be streamed for the public on LinkedIn Live on Tuesday, June 4th at 1 pm ET.

The climate index ranks all 50 US states across 5 key categories and measures them in every US state. The categories are:

  • Legal and Nondiscrimination Protections
  • Youth and Family Support
  • Political and Religious Attitudes
  • Health Access and Safety
  • Work Environment and Employment

Each section totaled 20 points and accounted for 1/5 of the Index total of the 100 possible points.

Top 5:

1. New York – 93.67

2. Connecticut – 93.27

3. Massachusetts – 92.00

4. New Jersey – 90.00

5. Vermont – 89.50

Bottom 5:

46. Tennessee – 34.00

47. Oklahoma – 33.37

48. South Carolina – 31.90

49. Louisiana – 31.50

50. Arkansas – 27.00

The Climate Index is also accompanied by 50 US State CEO Briefs, which share with leaders operating in these states what the climate index means, how we calculated the score, and most importantly what leaders can do to advocate for change. Federal, State, and local Governments listen to business leaders because every company operating in the US is an economic engine, and has the power to create change.

Click here to visit the  2024 State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index page for more information.


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