LGBTQ+ Business Climate Score

Out Leadership’s Business Climate Index for the 50 United States is an assessment of states’ performance on LGBTQ+ inclusion. It measures the impact government policies and prevalent attitudes have on the LGBTQ+ 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

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
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
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.

15 / 20
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
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 LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index for the 50 U.S. States, with important details about our methodology, including our data standards and practices. NOTE: *HIV criminalization laws are discriminatory and ineffective. These laws fail to account for advances made in treating and controlling HIV, may deter people from getting tested and seeking treatment, and can exacerbate the stigma targeting people living with HIV and LGBTQ+ people.

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.
Impact of LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ people create business and talent risks, please visit www.outleadership.com/staterisk.

  • 4
    Notable Risk
Companies incur notable risk to their brands by operating in Alaska, where there are no statewide LGBT+ inclusive nondiscrimination protections.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 LGBTQ+ 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. In 2020, the event was postponed to an undetermined date due to COVID-19.

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

42% of Alaskans – favor allowing small businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

59% of Alaskans favor LGBT+ nondiscrimination laws.