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.
out of a possible 100 points
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.
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.
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.
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.
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%).
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
The legal and cultural situation for LGBT+ people varies widely across the country. This map, based on each state's total Business Climate Score, illustrates the states where LGBT+ people are empowered to participate more fully and openly in the economy, and the states that are lagging behind.
Our partnerships make our work possible. The State LGBT+ Business Climate Index is financially supported by a grant from the Gill Foundation. The Index is based on data graciously shared by the Movement Advancement Project and the Williams Institute. Ropes & Gray is our pro bono legal partner for the CEO Business Briefs globally, and their research informs this Index. FCB partnered with us to conduct original market research into American attitudes toward LGBT+ workplace inclusion, informing the Regional Context section of the State CEO Briefs. America Competes supported the development of the scoring for the Risk Assessments detailed below, particularly for the Future Risk score.
Out Leadership and FCB partnered on original market research into the attitudes of American workers on LGBT+ inclusion, which fielded in March and April 2019. The full results will be launched in the spring of 2020; we are able to share preliminary regional comparisons in this brief.
Overall, 52.5% of LGBT+ workers in the West are out at work. However, urbanicity has a big impact on whether LGBT+ workers feel comfortable sharing personal information at work (LGBT+ workers are 26% less likely to share when in rural areas vs 4% less likely to share in urban areas compared to national average). There is also a big impact when it comes to age and being open to managers, with older LGBT+ workers in this region being more likely to share with their managers than any other age group nationwide (52% more likely). West workers are also 14% more likely to report microaggressions at work which may be why LGBT+/Allies are also 15% more likely to say they want to work with companies that are more supportive of LGBT+ rights. Even though there are reports of microaggressions in the workplace, workers in this region were 35% less likely to say that the state’s leadership talked negatively about LGBT+ issues.
Unless otherwise noted, all comparisons for more or less likely are compared to the National results. Regional results are based off of 1,500 respondents (LGBT+ and Non-LGBT+ responses have been weighted to be age-representative for each audience in each region). National results are based off of 600 respondents representative of each audience (LGBT+ vs Non-LGBT+).
States in the Western region included: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.
Legal status of the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Community
Legal status of the Transgender Community
Government statements and actions
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.
Status of LGBT+ Organizing and Community
Cultural Views of the LGBT+ Community