LGBT+ Business Climate Score

Out Leadership’s Business Climate Index for the 50 United States is an assessment of states’ performance on LGBT+ inclusion. It measures the impact government policies and prevalent attitudes have on the LGBT+ people residing in each state, quantifying the economic imperatives for inclusion and the costs of discrimination. It equips business leaders and policymakers with a clear sense of the most impactful steps states can take to make themselves more hospitable to forward-thinking, innovative, inclusive businesses.

50

out of a possible 100 points

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Legal & Nondiscrimination Protection

People can change the gender markers on a birth certificate without gender confirmation surgery. Changing a gender marker on a driver’s license requires a name change. There is no statewide nondiscrimination law inclusive of sexual orientation or gender identity, but some municipalities have passed protections locally.

13 / 20
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Youth & Family Support

There no ban on conversion therapy in Alaska. There are no explicit laws allowing discrimination against LGBT+ children in foster care or prospective adoptive parents, but there also aren’t laws banning it.

10 / 20
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Political & Religious Attitudes

One of the state’s two U.S. Senators has a track record of advocating and voting for LGBT+ rights; the other Senator and the state’s Governor do not. Alaska does not have a religious exemption law, but there are state court decisions interpreting the state’s religious liberty protections to require strict scrutiny, to a similar end.

13 / 20
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Health Access & Safety

There are no hate crimes protections for LGBT+ people in Alaska. There is no law explicitly criminalizing HIV transmission or exposure, but enhanced sentencing may be applied based on a defendant’s HIV status.* There are no protections for trans-related healthcare in public or private insurance plans, and the state’s Medicaid program explicitly forbids covering it.

5 / 20
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Work Environment & Employment

10% of transgender employees in Alaska reported being harassed in the past year due to their gender identity, and 25% report mistreatment such being told to present in the wrong gender in order to keep a job. 26% of LGBT+ individuals in Alaska reported food insecurity, double that of the non-LGBT+ population (13%). Up to 33% of LGBT+ individuals in Alaska reported making less than $24,000 per year. 15% of LGBT+ individuals report unemployment in Alaska, triple the rate for non-LGBT+ people (5%).

9 / 20
A Note on Methodology

Download this report to learn how and why Out Leadership created the LGBT+ Business Climate Index for the 50 U.S. States, with important details about our methodology, including our data standards and practices.

Our Methodology
Talking Points
  • 3.7% of Alaskans identify as LGBT+. Conservatively, that’s LGBT+ personal income of $1.6 billion – it’s a market my business can’t afford to ignore.
  • When LGBT+ employees don’t feel welcome at work, they’re less likely to stay, and employee turnover is a drag on the state economy and business competitiveness. It costs companies an average of $11,550 to replace an employee in Alaska, and it can cost up to $382,600 to replace senior executives. Alaska and the businesses operating there have strong financial incentives to create inclusive workplaces in the interest of keeping these costs down.
  • Nondiscrimination policies allow LGBT+ people to participate more fully in the economy.
  • Millennial and Gen Z consumers prefer to do business with companies with LGBT+ friendly advertising and policies – 54% say they’re more likely to choose an LGBT+ inclusive brand over a competitor – which is why it’s important that Alaska continue to foster a business environment where being inclusive is supported.
  • State leaders should set a welcoming, not a stigmatizing tone.
  • Alaska has a regressive attitude towards trans-inclusive health coverage. Treating trans people as unequal makes us look complicit if we choose to do business in Alaska – equality is good for everyone’s bottom line.
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Impact of LGBT+ Discrimination on Business and Talent
  • 1
    No Risk
  • 2
    Low Risk
  • 3
    Moderate Risk
  • 4
    Notable Risk
  • 5
    High Risk

For more context around these scores, and to learn more about the criteria we used to assess how state laws, actions and attitudes toward LGBT+ people create business and talent risks, please visit www.outleadership.com/staterisk.

BRAND RISK
  • 4
    Notable Risk
Companies incur notable risk to their brands by operating in Alaska, where there are no statewide LGBT+ inclusive nondiscrimination protections.
CLIENT RISK
  • 4
    Notable Risk
There is notable risk of LGBT+ or strong ally clients pulling their business from companies operating in Alaska in light of the state’s business climate and reputation.
TALENT RISK
  • 3
    Moderate Risk
LGBT+ professionals might consider Alaska’s legal and social environment unfriendly. There is no statewide LGBT+ inclusive nondiscrimination law, and there are no provisions mandating coverage of trans healthcare, both of which could make working in Virginia unattractive to LGBT+ talent.
MARKETING RISK
  • 4
    Notable Risk
There is notable risk involved in marketing to the LGBT+ community in Alaska, where there is no statewide LGBT+ inclusive nondiscrimination law, no statewide restrictions exist on the practice of conversion therapy, and sexual orientation and gender identity are not protected under hate crimes legislation.
FUTURE RISK
  • 1
    No Risk
With a divided government and very low overall filing of discriminatory bills, there is currently no risk of a negative event in the foreseeable future. LGBT+ advocates also scored a major victory in Anchorage in 2018, rejecting a “bathroom” measure at the ballot.
Socio-cultural Environment of LGBT+ People:

Status of LGBT+ Organizing and Community

  • – Some 12,000 people attended Anchorage’s annual Pridefest in 2019, a record turnout for the 42-year-old event.
  • – Alaska has a strong and active LGBT+ advocacy community. In 2018, their work helped defeat Prop. 1 in Anchorage, a ballot question proposing to roll back trans protections in the city.

Cultural Views of the LGBT+ Community

  • – Nearly half of Alaskans – 46% – favor allowing small businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ people.
  • – 68% of Alaskans favor LGBT+ nondiscrimination laws.