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

Changing the gender markers on a birth certificate in Nebraska requires surgery. Changing them on driver’s licenses requires “reassignment procedures required for social gender recognition.” There are no statewide LGBTQ+ anti-discrimination protections.

10.5 / 20
Youth & Family Support

Conversion therapy is currently legal in Nebraska. Youths in foster care are not protected from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Same-sex couples are allowed to foster and adopt, but religiously affiliated adoption agencies are allowed to use religious concerns when placing children.

10.73 / 20
Political & Religious Attitudes

The state’s Governor and U.S. Senators have consistently opposed LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion in their speech and voting records. There is no religious exemption law in Nebraska.

8 / 20
Health Access & Safety

Trans healthcare coverage is specifically excluded from Medicaid and from state employee insurance, and it’s not a protected right for private plans. There are hate crimes protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender but not gender identity.

10 / 20
Work Environment & Employment

14% of transgender employees in Nebraska reported being harassed in the past year due to their gender identity, and 16% report mistreatment such as being told to present in the wrong gender in order to keep a job. 25% of LGBTQ+ individuals in Nebraska reported food insecurity, double the rate for non-LGBTQ+ people (12%). Up to 24% of LGBTQ+ individuals in Nebraska reported making less than $24,000 per year. 6% of LGBTQ+ individuals report unemployment in Nebraska, almost double the rate for non-LGBTQ+ people (3%).

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
  • When polled, 3.8% of Nebraskans openly identified as LGBTQ+. Conservatively, that’s LGBTQ+ personal income of $3.8 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 $9,106 to replace an employee in Nebraska, and it can cost up to $470,600 to replace senior executives. Nebraska and the businesses operating there have strong financial incentives to create inclusive workplaces in the interest of keeping these costs down.
  • Nondiscrimination policies allow LGBTQ+ people to participate more fully in the economy and companies that provide workplace protections can maximize the value of LGBTQ+ employee contributions.
  • 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 Nebraska continue to foster a business environment where being inclusive is supported.
  • State leaders should set a welcoming, not a stigmatizing tone.
  • Nebraska has a regressive attitude towards trans-inclusive health coverage. Treating trans people as unequal makes us look complicit if we choose to do business in Nebraska – equality is good for everyone’s bottom line.
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

  • 5
    High Risk
Companies incur high risk to their brands by operating in Nebraska, where there are no statewide LGBTQ+ inclusive nondiscrimination protections and local protections often fail to pass into law. The state’s governor and senators have negative voting records on LGBTQ+ issues, and stand vocally against LGBTQ+ interests.
  • 4
    Notable Risk
There’s notable risk that LGBTQ+ or strong ally clients might pull their business from companies operating in Nebraska, in light of the state’s business climate and reputation.
  • 4
    Notable Risk
LGBTQ+ professionals are likely to consider Nebraska’s legal and social environment unfriendly. There is no statewide LGBTQ+ inclusive nondiscrimination law and changing gender markers on documents requires surgery.
  • 4
    Notable Risk
There is notable risk involved in marketing to the LGBTQ+ community in Nebraska.
  • 2
    Low Risk
The state has had only one discriminatory bill filed in recent years, so appetite appears low. We assess a low risk of future negative events.
Socio-cultural Environment of LGBTQ+ People:

Status of LGBTQ+ Organizing and Community

Star City Pride, in Lincoln, and Heartland Pride, in Omaha, are the state’s two main annual pride events.

The state’s first LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, OutNebraska, formed in 2019.

Cultural Views of the LGBTQ+ Community

54% of Nebraskans oppose small-business exemptions that would allow discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.

73% of Nebraskans favor LGBTQ+ anti-discrimination laws.