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
New Mexico has comprehensive sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination protections. As of June 2019, the state no longer requires surgery for transgender people to change gender markers on their birth certificates. Changing gender on a driver’s license requires submitting a Gender Designation Change Request to the DMV.
The state bans conversion therapy. Both members of a same-sex couple can adopt together, if they are married. New Mexico only recognizes non-gestational parents if the couple is married.
The state’s current U.S. Senators and Governor have strong pro-LGBT+ voting records. The state has a religious freedom law, but it is not allowed to override compliance with its human rights act.
HIV status is not criminalized in New Mexico. Hate crimes protections are inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity. Transgender healthcare coverage is mandated for private insurers but not covered by state Medicaid.
13% of transgender employees in New Mexico reported being harassed in the past year due to their gender identity, and 27% reported mistreatment such as being forced to use a restroom not matching their gender. 24% of LGBT+ individuals in New Mexico reported food insecurity, more than twice that of the non-LGBT+ population. LGBT+ unemployment (9%) is higher than that of the state population as a whole (6%).
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
The legal and cultural situation for LGBTQ+ people varies widely across the country. This map, based on each state's total Business Climate Score, illustrates the states where LGBTQ+ 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 first State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index released in 2019 was funded 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 LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion, informing the Regional Context section of the State CEO Briefs. America Competes supported the development of the scoring for the Risk Assessments, 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 2019 and 2020. These briefs as a whole will be updated on an ongoing basis by Out Leadership because we recognize the ever-changing nature of policy on the local, state, and national level.
The Southwest region had the lowest percent of non-LGBT+ respondents being willing to self-identify as an ally (44%), but, surprisingly, had the highest percentage of respondents classifying as LGBT+ friendly (slightly over 90%). Over half of the of LGBT+ workers in the Southwest are out at work (54.4%, second behind the Southeast region) and LGBT+ workers in this region are also 14% less likely to feel they need to engage in covering behaviors around their sexual orientation at work to be successful. However, state leadership in this region is not seen as very inclusive, and workers were 36% more likely to say that their leadership speaks about LGBT+ in predominantly negative terms. This region was also 43% more likely to list “including visibly LGBT+ people in advertising and communications” as one of the top ways that business could demonstrate their support. However, the non-LGBT+ respondents in this region were the least likely to list public demonstrations of support as one of the top ways that businesses could express their commitment to the LGBT community. Particularly around marketing to LGBT+ customers and public advocacy (77% and 50% less likely respectively).
** 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 Southwest region included: Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Current Legal Status of LGBT+ people
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 LGBTQ+ people create business and talent risks, please visit www.outleadership.com/staterisk.
Socio-cultural Environment of LGBT+ people
Status of LGBT+ Organizing and Community
Cultural Views of the LGBT+ Community