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

There are no statewide nondiscrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Surgery is required to change the gender markers on a birth certificate. Changing a gender marker on a driver’s license requires an affidavit signed by a medical professional, but not surgery.

9 / 20
Youth & Family Support

There is no conversion therapy ban in the state. Children in foster care have anti-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation but not gender identity. There is no religious exemption to discriminate against potential LGBT+ adoptive parents.

11.33 / 20
Political & Religious Attitudes

There is no religious exemptions law in Wyoming. The state’s U.S. Senators and Governor are not often vocally anti-LGBT+. They all consistently vote against equality and inclusion, but Gov. Mark Gordon recently nominated candidates to state commissions who faced a confirmation fight due to their pro-LGBT+ positions.

14 / 20
Health Access & Safety

There are no state laws explicitly criminalizing HIV in Wyoming.* There are also no statewide hate crimes protections. Medicaid explicitly prohibits covering trans-related healthcare. Under federal law, Wyoming Medicaid is required to cover all medically necessary procedures for children and adolescents. Current state rule excludes coverage of gender confirmation surgery (GCS) for adults. Wyoming Medicaid has considered removing this restriction but it is currently on the books. At this time, Wyoming Medicaid has not paid for nor denied any requests for GCS.

9 / 20
Work Environment & Employment

15% of transgender employees in Wyoming reported being harassed in the past year due to their gender identity, and 29% report mistreatment such as being forced to use a restroom not matching gender. 26% of LGBT+ individuals in Wyoming reported food insecurity, almost double that of their non LGBT+ peers (14%). Up to 31% of LGBT+ individuals in Wyoming reported making less than $24,000 per year. 17% of LGBT+ individuals report unemployment in Wyoming, more than 4 times the rate of their non LGBT+ peers (4%).

8 / 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
  • 3.3% of Wyoming residents identify as LGBT+. Conservatively, that’s LGBT+ personal income of $1.1 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 $9,530 to replace an employee in Wyoming, and it can cost up to $279,000 to replace senior executives. Wyoming and the businesses operating there have strong financial incentives to create inclusive workplaces in the interest of keeping these costs down.
  • Nondiscrimination policies allow LGBT+ people to participate more fully in the economy.
  • 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 Wyoming work to foster a business environment where being inclusive is supported.
  • State leaders should set a welcoming, not a stigmatizing tone.
  • Wyoming 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 Wyoming – 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 www.outleadership.com/staterisk.

  • 5
    High Risk
Companies incur high risk to their brands by operating in Wyoming, 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.
  • 4
    Notable Risk
There is notable risk of LGBT+ or strong ally clients pulling their business from companies operating in Wyoming in light of the state’s business climate and reputation.
  • 2
    Low Risk
LGBT+ talent are likely to consider Wyoming’s legal and social environment unfriendly. There is no statewide LGBT+ inclusive nondiscrimination law or hate crime protections, both of which make working in Wyoming unattractive to LGBT+ professionals.
  • 5
    High Risk
There is high risk involved in marketing to the LGBT+ community in Wyoming.
  • 2
    Low Risk
While a few discriminatory bills have been filed over the years, state lawmakers appear to have little appetite for advancing discriminatory legislation. The risk of a future negative event is low.
Socio-cultural Environment of LGBTQ+ People:

Status of LGBT+ Organizing and Community

  • There are pride events in Laramie and Cheyenne; both are less than three years old. There are at least six other small events in towns throughout the state.
  • In 2018, the head of Equality Wyoming, Sara Burlingame, won a seat in the State House. She is running for re-election in the 2020 cycle.

Cultural Views of the LGBT+ Community

  • The state still lives under a cloud from the 1998 murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard. A national hate crimes act was named after him in 2009 and his parents continue to advocate for state-level protections across the country.
  • 41% of Wyoming residents favor allowing small businesses religious exemptions to discriminate against LGBT+ people.
  • 64% of Wyoming residents favor LGBT+ nondiscrimination laws.