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

Maine has a comprehensive nondiscrimination law. Updating a state ID gender marker only requires an affidavit signed by a clinician, but amending a birth certificate gender marker still requires proof of gender affirmation surgery.

16 / 20
Youth & Family Support

Conversion therapy for minors is banned. The state also prohibits discrimination against youth in the child welfare system based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, and prohibits private adoption agencies to discriminate on religious grounds.

16.67 / 20
Political & Religious Attitudes

The state’s U.S. Senators and Governor all have extensive voting records supportive of LGBT+ equality and inclusion. The state does not have a “religious freedom” law.

18 / 20
Health Access & Safety

HIV exposure is not criminalized in Maine.* Although Maine’s hate crimes law does not specify gender identity as a protected category, in 2017 the Attorney Generals’ office said that it considered it to be one. There is no hate crimes protections for gender identity. In March 2019, Maine prohibited trans-related exclusions by private health insurers, and in September 2019 trans-related services were added to the coverage list of MaineCare, the state’s Medicaid program.

13.5 / 20
Work Environment & Employment

18% of transgender employees in Maine reported being harassed in the past year due to their gender identity, and 23% report mistreatment such being told to present in the wrong gender in order to keep a job. 18% of LGBT+ individuals in Maine reported food insecurity, more than that of their non-LGBT+ peers (13%). In addition, 26% of LGBT+ individuals in Maine reported making less than $24,000 per year. 7% of LGBT+ individuals report unemployment in Maine, nearly double the non-LGBT+ rate (4%).

13 / 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
  • 4.9% of Mainers identify as LGBT+. Conservatively, that’s LGBT+ personal income of $3.2 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 $9,060 to replace an employee in Maine, and it can cost up to $325,400 to replace senior executives. Maine and the businesses operating there have strong financial incentives to create inclusive workplaces in the interest of keeping these costs down.
  • Maine’s comprehensive nondiscrimination law protects LGBT+ people, so the state is already experiencing the positive economic impacts of such policies. That said, there’s still a gap between policy and culture, and organizations in Maine have a business imperative to ensure that LGBT+ people feel welcome in their workplaces.
  • 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 Maine 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 brand risk by doing business in Maine, which has strong LGBT+ protections and a positive reputation for equality.
  • 2
    Low Risk
There is low risk of LGBT+ or strong ally clients pulling their business from companies operating in Maine in light of the state’s business climate and reputation.
  • 1
    No Risk
Maine has comprehensive antidiscrimination laws and protections, making it a state top LGBT+ talent would prioritize.
  • 2
    Low Risk
There is low risk involved in marketing to the LGBT+ community in Maine.
  • 1
    No Risk
The state seems to have no appetite in recent years to file or pursue discriminatory legislation, and statewide nondiscrimination protections are in place.
Socio-cultural Environment of LGBTQ+ People:

Status of LGBT+ Organizing and Community

Portland has held a pride parade since 1987. Around 15,000 people attended in 2019, a record turnout.

Portland is the “third gayest city” in America based on the percentage of same-sex couples. In February, the state’s first LGBT+-focused therapy practice opened there.

Cultural Views of the LGBT+ Community

Maine native Nicole Maines, who plays the first-ever trans superhero on “Supergirl,” was the plaintiff in a 2014 state supreme court decision that she had to be allowed to use the restrooms at school aligning with her gender identity.

63% of Mainers oppose discriminating against LGBT+ people on religious grounds.

76% of Mainers support LGBT+ nondiscrimination laws.