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, and changing it on a birth certificate requires a notarized form. As of July 2020, Maine offers a nonbinary gender option.

20 / 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.

18.67 / 20
Political & Religious Attitudes

The state’s U.S. Senators and Governor all have extensive voting records supportive of LGBTQ+ 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.

19 / 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 LGBTQ+ individuals in Maine reported food insecurity, more than that of their non-LGBTQ+ peers (13%). In addition, 26% of LGBTQ+ individuals in Maine reported making less than $24,000 per year. 7% of LGBTQ+ individuals report unemployment in Maine, nearly double the non-LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+. Conservatively, that’s LGBTQ+ personal income of $3.2 billion – it’s a market my business can’t afford to ignore.
  • When LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ people feel welcome in their workplaces.
  • Millennial and Gen Z consumers prefer to do business with companies with LGBTQ+ friendly advertising and policies – 54% say they’re more likely to choose an LGBTQ+ 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

  • 1
    No Risk
Companies incur no brand risk by doing business in Maine, which has strong LGBTQ+ protections and a positive reputation for equality.
  • 2
    Low Risk
There is low risk of LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ talent would prioritize.
  • 2
    Low Risk
There is low risk involved in marketing to the LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ Organizing and Community

Portland has held a pride parade since 1987. Around 15,000 people attended in 2019, a record turnout. It was canceled due to the pandemic in both 2020 and 2021.

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

Cultural Views of the LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ people on religious grounds.

76% of Mainers support LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination laws.