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
Kansas is one of three states that still don’t allow transgender people to change the gender markers on their birth certificates. Changing the gender marker on a driver’s license requires a court order or a medical declaration. There is no statewide discrimination law protecting people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, though state employees and the employees of private companies contracting with the state have received those protections via executive order.
There is no conversion therapy ban in Kansas. Same-sex couples can adopt, but adoption agencies can discriminate against them on religious freedom grounds. Same-sex couples who aren’t biologically related to their child must petition for step-parent adoption to be listed on the birth certificate.
Governor Laura Kelly ran on a pro-LGBT+ platform, and her first act as governor was to reinstate protections on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation for state employees. The state’s two senators both have dire voting records on LGBT+ issues. The Preservation of Religious Freedom Act allows people to challenge government mandates on religious grounds.
There are no laws mandating coverage of trans healthcare in Kansas. It’s a felony for a man with an HIV+ status to knowingly have penetrative sex with the intent to expose another person to disease, or for any person with an HIV+ status to knowingly donate tissue or fluids. The state enumerates sexual orientation under hate crime protections, but not gender identity.
15% of transgender employees in Kansas reported being harassed in the past year due to their gender identity. 33% of LGBT+ individuals in Kansas reported food insecurity, more than double that of their non LGBT+ peers (12%). 30% of LGBT+ Kansans reported making less than $24,000 per year. LGBT+ unemployment (8%) is double that of the non-LGBT+ population.
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.
Only 50.8% of LGBT+ workers in the Midwest are out at work. They are only slightly more comfortable being open with their managers than other regions (14% more likely), but they are the least likely to cover their identity at work (17% less likely than nationwide). This could be due to the Midwest having the lowest rates for observing microaggressions (23% less likely than the national group as a whole) and hearing or engaging in negative conversations on average, relative to the national sample. However, workers in this region do not typically go out of their way to do business with inclusive companies (21% less likely than the nation as a whole). This is primarily driven by those who live in more rural areas where respondents were 85% less likely to do business with companies that are inclusive.
** 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 Midwest region included: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin
Legal status of the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Community
Legal status of the Transgender Community
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.
Cultural Views of the LGBT+ Community