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
Arizona has no statewide nondiscrimination law protecting sexual orientation or gender identity, though local laws in five municipalities cover large swathes of the state. An executive order prohibits discrimination against state employees based on sexual orientation but not gender identity. The state requires gender confirmation surgery to change birth certificate gender markers. Gender markers on driver’s licenses cannot be changed before first going through the process of amending gender markers on Social Security Records.
There is no law against conversion therapy in Arizona. The state repealed its prohibition on discussion of LGBT+ issues in schools in 2019.
With the exception of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the nation’s first openly bisexual U.S. Senator, Arizona’s statewide public officials generally uphold pro-religious, anti-LGBT+ status quos in the state. Broad religious exemption laws apply to nondiscrimination laws in Arizona.
Gender confirmation surgeries are not covered by Arizona Medicaid, and the state has no laws banning transgender healthcare exclusions by insurers. The state has seen (so far unsuccessful) attempts to ban transgender health coverage outright. Broad hate crime protections are in place for individuals on the basis of sexual orientation, but not gender identity. HIV exposure is not specifically criminalized but can be prosecuted under general laws or contagious and infectious disease statutes.
Ten percent of transgender employees in Arizona reported being harassed in the past year due to their gender identity and 28% report mistreatment (i.e., being told to present in the wrong gender) in order to keep a job. Thirty-one percent of LGBT+ individuals in Arizona reported food insecurity, almost double that of the non-LGBT+ population. LGBT+ unemployment in Arizona (9%) outpaces that of the non-LGBT+ population (6%).
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 September 2019; we are able to share preliminary regional comparisons in this brief.
The Southwest region had the lowest percent of non-LGBT+ respondents being willing to self-identify as an ally (44%), but, surprisingly, had the highest percentage of respondents classifying as LGBT+ friendly (slightly over 90%). Over half of the of LGBT+ workers in the Southwest are out at work (54.4%, second behind the Southeast region) and LGBT+ workers in this region are also 14% less likely to feel they need to engage in covering behaviors around their sexual orientation at work to be successful. However, state leadership in this region is not seen as very inclusive, and workers were 36% more likely to say that their leadership speaks about LGBT+ in predominantly negative terms. This region was also 43% more likely to list “including visibly LGBT+ people in advertising and communications” as one of the top ways that business could demonstrate their support. However, the non-LGBT+ respondents in this region were the least likely to list public demonstrations of support as one of the top ways that businesses could express their commitment to the LGBT community. Particularly around marketing to LGBT+ customers and public advocacy (77% and 50% less likely respectively).
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 Southwest region included: Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Legal Status of the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community
Legal Status of the Transgender and Gender-Diverse Communities
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