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

Changing the gender markers on a birth certificate no longer requires an affidavit signed by a medical professional attesting to the gender change and includes a nonbinary option. The state outlaws discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

20 / 20
Youth & Family Support

Conversion therapy is banned in Connecticut. The state has comprehensive nondiscrimination laws protecting youths in foster care on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. State law allows for the sexual orientation of potential adoptive parents to be taken into account but there’s no evidence that has happened in the state.

17.7 / 20
Political & Religious Attitudes

The state’s U.S. Senators and Governor have steady records of speaking and voting in favor of LGBT+ equality and inclusion. The state does have a religious exemption law.

17.2 / 20
Health Access & Safety

Hate crimes protections extend to sexual orientation and gender identity. Insurers in Connecticut are required to cover gender affirmation related healthcare costs.

15 / 20
Work Environment & Employment

9% of transgender employees in Connecticut reported being harassed in the past year due to their gender identity, and 20% report mistreatment such as being told to present in the wrong gender in order to keep a job. 22% of LGBT+ individuals in Connecticut reported food insecurity, almost double the rate for non-LGBT+ people (13%). Up to 22% of LGBT+ individuals in Connecticut reported making less than $24,000 per year. 6% of LGBT+ individuals report unemployment in Connecticut, less than the rate for non-LGBT+ people (7%).

18 / 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
  • 3.9% of Connecticut residents identify as LGBT+. Conservatively, that’s LGBT+ personal income of $10.4 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 $11,882 to replace an employee in Connecticut, and it can cost up to $ 448,684 to replace senior executives. Connecticut and the businesses operating there have strong financial incentives to create inclusive workplaces in the interest of keeping these costs down.
  • Connecticut’s comprehensive nondiscrimination law protects LGBT+ people, so the state is already experiencing the positive economic impacts of such policies. One estimate suggests that the state’s economy may have grown 3%, or $7.9 billion, thanks to its inclusive approach. That said, there’s still a gap between policy and culture, and organizations in Connecticut have a business imperative to ensure that LGBT+ people feel welcome in their workplaces.
  • Connecticut has a favorable economic environment for business investment – but taking steps to make LGBT+ people feel safer and more included would better enable companies to attract top LGBT+ talent.
  • 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 Connecticut continue to foster a business environment where being inclusive is supported.
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.

  • 1
    No Risk
Companies incur no risk to their brands by operating in Connecticut, where there are comprehensive LGBT+ inclusive nondiscrimination protections and the state’s governor and senators have strong pro-LGBT+ records.
  • 1
    No Risk
There is no risk of LGBT+ or strong ally clients pulling their business from companies operating in Connecticut in light of the state’s business climate or reputation.
  • 1
    No Risk
Connecticut has strong legal protections for LGBT+ people, making working there attractive to LGBT+ professionals.
  • 1
    No Risk
There is no risk involved in marketing to the LGBT+ community in Connecticut.
  • 1
    No Risk
The state has comprehensive nondiscrimination protections in place and there seems to be low appetite to pursue discriminatory legislation. We currently see no risk of a future negative event.
Socio-cultural Environment of LGBTQ+ People:

Status of LGBT+ Organizing and Community

The state has a host of annual pride events, including Hartford PrideFest, New London’s Pride Parade, Pride in the Park in Fairfield County and smaller town events.

    Cultural Views of the LGBT+ Community

    Three high school athletes filed a lawsuit earlier this year alleging that the state’s policy that transgender students can participate in sports aligned with their gender identity puts cisgender competitors at a disadvantage.

    Connecticut was the second state in the nation to legalize marriage equality.

    63% of Nutmeggers oppose religious exemptions for small businesses that would legalize LGBT+ discrimination.

    77% of Connecticut residents favor LGBT+ nondiscrimination protections.