LGBT+ Business Climate Score

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.

53.5

out of a possible 100 points

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Legal & Nondiscrimination Protection

There are no broad nondiscrimination protections for sexual orientation or gender identity in Indiana, although approximately 30% of Hoosiers are covered by full human rights ordinances. Nondiscrimination protections exist for state employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Surgery is not currently required for gender marker changes, although the legislature is considering bills that would make the requirements more onerous.

13 / 20
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Youth & Family Support

There is no conversion therapy ban in Indiana. Unmarried couples are both recognized as parents in the case of adoption, however non-gestational parents are not recognized if the couple is not married.

10.67 / 20
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Political & Religious Attitudes

Indiana’s Senators have anti-LGBT+ voting and speaking records. The state has a “religious freedom” law, but after an outcry, a rider preventing its use for LGBT+ discrimination was quickly appended.

8.2 / 20
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Health Access & Safety

The state does not prevent private insurers from excluding transgender healthcare from coverage. Medicaid covers hormone therapy for transgender patients, but not gender confirmation surgery. Knowingly transmitting HIV through personal contact without a disclosure and donating blood or tissue with an HIV+ status are felonies. In 2019 Governor Holcomb signed into law a hate crimes bill that that did not include gender identity as a protected class.

10.67 / 20
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Work Environment & Employment

12% of transgender employees in Indiana report being harassed in the past year due to their gender identity, and 24% reported mistreatment such as being told to present in the wrong gender in order to keep a job. 27% of LGBT+ Indianans report food insecurity, almost double that of non-LGBT+s (15%). The LGBT+ unemployment rate (10%) is double the non-LGBT+ rate.

11 / 20
A Note on Methodology

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
Talking Points
  • 4.5% of Indiana residents identify as LGBT+. Conservatively, that's LGBT+ personal income of $14 billion – it’s a market my business can’t afford to ignore.
  • Nondiscrimination policies allow LGBT+ people to participate more fully in the economy.
  • Indiana 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.
  • 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 $8,790 to replace an employee in Indiana, and it can cost up to $316,794 to replace senior executives. Indiana and the businesses operating there have strong incentives to create inclusive workplaces in the interest of keeping these costs down.
  • 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 Indiana create a business environment where being inclusive is supported.
  • Community leaders in Indiana should take steps to ease stigmatization of trans people – equality is good for everyone's bottom line.
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Impact of LGBT+ 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 LGBT+ people create business and talent risks, please visit www.outleadership.com/staterisk.

BRAND RISK
  • 5
    High Risk
Companies incur high risk to their brands by operating in Indiana, where there are no statewide LGBT+ inclusive nondiscrimination protections and the state’s Senators have negative voting records on LGBT+ issues. The state's reputation on LGBT+ issues was significantly tarnished by the 2015 battle over the RFRA law, and in 2019 Governor Holcomb signed hates crime legislation specifically excluding gender identity.
CLIENT RISK
  • 3
    Moderate Risk
There is moderate risk of LGBT+ or strong ally clients pulling their business from Indiana in light of the state’s business climate and image.
TALENT RISK
  • 4
    Notable Risk
LGBT+ professionals are likely to consider Indiana’s legal and social environment unfriendly. There is no statewide LGBT+ inclusive nondiscrimination law, and transgender people are specifically excluded from hate crimes protections, making working in Indiana comparatively unattractive to LGBT+ talent.
MARKETING RISK
  • 4
    Notable Risk
There is notable risk involved in marketing to the LGBT+ community in Indiana, where political conversations around LGBT+ equality have reached an uneasy détente.
FUTURE RISK
  • 4
    Notable Risk
The state is still suffering some negative brand impacts from a major, headline-making discriminatory event in 2015. While appetite for similar policies appears to have diminished, there remains a notable risk of future negative events.
Socio-cultural Environment of LGBT+ People:

Status of LGBT+ Organizing and Community

  • – After Indiana’s state legislature passed (and Mike Pence, then governor, signed) the state’s RFRA law in 2015, Tim Cook and other prominent business leaders spoke out about how the law would hurt their ability to attract and retain talent there. An addendum protecting LGBT+ people from discrimination was added less than a month later. Still, a tourism group calculated that the state lost $60 million in business in the wake of the bill’s passage.
  • – A CrossFit gym in Indianapolis canceled a planned pride event in 2018 with the support of a top company executive on religious grounds. The gym closed and the executive was fired.
  • – A private religious school fired a guidance counselor for her same-sex marriage, leading state lawmakers to discuss withholding voucher funding from schools that discriminate against LGBT+ people.

 

Cultural Views of the LGBT+ Community

  • – A tax prep professional made national news in February 2019 after refusing to prepare the taxes of a married lesbian couple. A law professor told the Washington Post that the woman didn’t break any laws, because Indiana doesn’t offer statewide discrimination protections for LGBT+ people.
  • – Last year, a teacher in Brownsville resigned after refusing to use a transgender student’s chosen name, as is the district’s policy.