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.

46.9

out of a possible 100 points

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Legal & Nondiscrimination Protection

Missouri’s nondiscrimination laws do not cover sexual orientation or gender identity, though many jurisdictions have passed protections locally. Changing gender markers on a birth certificate requires a court order. The state had also required proof of surgery, but a successful 2013 court challenge to that requirement has left the law in the state unclear; de facto, transgender people are required by state judges with jurisdiction to have had surgery in order to change their markers.

11 / 20
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Youth & Family Support

Missouri does not have a ban against conversion therapy. There are no prohibitions on LGBT+ people fostering or adopting in the state, and there are also measures preventing discrimination in adoption.

8.67 / 20
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Political & Religious Attitudes

The state’s senators and governor have established anti-LGBT+ voting records and vocally oppose LGBT+ interests, though Governor Mike Parson has also said that gay people should not be fired on the basis of sexual orientation. Bills that would allow for religious exemptions to nondiscrimination statutes have been introduced in Missouri’s state legislature multiple times, but have not been adopted.

7.2 / 20
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Health Access & Safety

Hate crimes legislation is inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity in Missouri. Medicaid does not cover transgender healthcare, and the state does not ban private insurance companies from excluding transgender healthcare coverage.

9 / 20
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Work Environment & Employment

27% of transgender employees reported being mistreatment such as being forced to use a restroom not matching gender in the last year. 27% of LGBT+ individuals in Missouri reported food insecurity, almost double that of their non LGBT+ peers (14%). 27% of LGBT+ individuals in Missouri report making less than $24,000 per year. LGBT+ unemployment (9%) is more than double that of the non-LGBT+ population.

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
  • 3.8% of Missouri residents identify as LGBT+. Conservatively, that's LGBT+ personal income of $10.9 billion – it’s a market my business can’t afford to ignore.
  • Nondiscrimination policies allow LGBT+ people to participate more fully in the economy.
  • 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 $9,104 to replace an employee in Missouri, and it can cost up to about $358,000 to replace senior executives. Missouri 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 Missouri create a business environment where being inclusive is supported.
  • Missouri has a regressive attitude towards transgender people. This makes companies doing business in Missouri look complicit – 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 Missouri, where there are no statewide LGBT+ inclusive nondiscrimination protections and the state’s governor and senators have negative voting records on LGBT+ issues, and stand vocally against LGBT+ interests.
CLIENT RISK
  • 4
    Notable Risk
There is notable risk of LGBT+ or strong ally clients pulling their business from companies operating in Missouri in light of the state’s business climate and reputation.
TALENT RISK
  • 4
    Notable Risk
LGBT+ talent are likely to consider Missouri’s legal and social environment unfriendly. There is no statewide LGBT+ inclusive nondiscrimination law, and transgender people are de facto required to have surgery in order to change gender markers, both of which make working in Missouri unattractive to LGBT+ professionals.
MARKETING RISK
  • 3
    Moderate Risk
There is moderate risk involved in marketing to the LGBT+ community in Missouri, where there is no statewide LGBT+ inclusive nondiscrimination law, and legislative progress on LGBT+ equality has stalled in recent years.
FUTURE RISK
  • 4
    Notable Risk
The state is still suffering some negative brand impacts from a major, headline-making discriminatory event in 2016. While appetite for similar policies appears to have diminished, there remains a notable risk of future negative events.
Socio-cultural Environment of LGBT+ People:

Socio-cultural Environment of LGBT+ people 

Status of LGBT+ Organizing and Community

  • At least three adoption and/or foster care agencies in Missouri support LGBT+ adoption. One has been identified as a “Leader in Supporting and Serving LGBTQ Youth and Families” by All Children – All Families (ACAF). The remaining two agencies are working with the Human Rights Campaign to review their policies and practices so as to be fully supportive of LGBT individuals and families.
  • More than half of the homeless population of Kansas City, including children, identifies as LGBT+, and the Kansas City Center for Inclusion is confident that trend is consistent across the state.

 

Cultural Views of the LGBT+ Community

  • In 2016, a lesbian couple was denied a spot in a retirement home based on their sexual orientation. In 2019, a judge ruled that the refusal was legal because there are no laws preventing LGBT+ discrimination in housing in the state.