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 currently only takes the applicant requesting it, but those changes have been banned as of July 2020, though the new law is being challenged in court. A driver’s license gender marker change requires an affidavit signed by a physician. There is no statewide nondiscrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

5.5 / 20
Youth & Family Support

Conversion therapy is legal in Idaho. There are no explicit protections preventing adoption agencies from discriminating against potential LGBT+ adoptive parents. Children in foster care are protected from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

10.33 / 20
Political & Religious Attitudes

Idaho’s U.S. Senators and its Governor all have records of speaking and voting against LGBT+ equity and inclusion. The state has a religious exemption law in place.

10.2 / 20
Health Access & Safety

Knowingly exposing someone to HIV can be prosecuted as a felony.* There are no hate crimes protections on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. There is no law mandating trans-related health coverage; state employee plans cover it but require pre-authorization.

4.67 / 20
Work Environment & Employment

14% of transgender employees in Idaho reported being harassed in the past year due to their gender identity, and 23% report mistreatment such as having someone at work share private information about their gender. 32% of LGBT+ individuals in Idaho reported food insecurity, more than double the rate for non-LGBT+ people (15%). Up to 28% of LGBT+ individuals in Idaho reported making less than $24,000 per year. 8% of LGBT+ individuals report unemployment in Idaho, almost double the rate for non-LGBT+ people (5%).

10 / 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
  • 2.8% of Idaho residents identify as LGBT+. Conservatively, that’s LGBT+ personal income of $2.1 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 $8,448 to replace an employee in Idaho, and it can cost up to $201,221 to replace senior executives. Idaho 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 Idaho continue to foster a business environment where being inclusive is supported.
  • State leaders should set a welcoming, not a stigmatizing tone.
  • Idaho 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 Idaho -- 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.

  • 5
    High Risk
Companies incur high risk to their brands by operating in Idaho, where there are no statewide LGBT+ inclusive nondiscrimination protections. The state’s governor and senators have negative voting records on LGBT+ issues, and stand vocally against LGBT+ interests.
  • 5
    High Risk
There is notable risk of LGBT+ or strong ally clients pulling their business from companies operating in Idaho in light of the state’s business climate and reputation.
  • 4
    Notable Risk
LGBT+ professionals are likely to consider Idaho’s legal and social environment unfriendly. There is no statewide LGBT+ inclusive nondiscrimination law or hate crimes protections, both of which make working in Idaho unattractive to LGBT+ talent.
  • 5
    High Risk
There is notable risk involved in marketing to the LGBT+ community in Idaho, where there is no statewide LGBT+ inclusive nondiscrimination law, sexual orientation and gender identity are not protected under state hate crimes legislation, no statewide restrictions exist on the practice of conversion therapy, and religious freedom laws are in place.
  • 5
    High Risk
Until 2020, very few discriminatory bills were filed in recent years. However, in 2020 the legislature enacted two bills targeting transgender people, suggesting a shift in the state’s risk profile to high risk of a future negative event.
Socio-cultural Environment of LGBTQ+ People:

Status of LGBT+ Organizing and Community

Boise’s pride festival celebrated its 30-year anniversary in 2019.

“Add the Words”, a nonprofit dedicated to achieving statewide LGBT+ nondiscrimination protections, has unsuccessfully sought equality status for the past 14 legislative sessions.

Cultural Views of the LGBT+ Community

44% of Idaho residents favor allowing small businesses to discriminate against LGBT+ people.

71% of Idaho residents favor LGBT+ nondiscrimination laws.