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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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%).
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.
Overall, 52.5% of LGBT+ workers in the West are out at work. However, urbanicity has a big impact on whether LGBT+ workers feel comfortable sharing personal information at work (LGBT+ workers are 26% less likely to share when in rural areas vs 4% less likely to share in urban areas compared to national average). There is also a big impact when it comes to age and being open to managers, with older LGBT+ workers in this region being more likely to share with their managers than any other age group nationwide (52% more likely). West workers are also 14% more likely to report microaggressions at work which may be why LGBT+/Allies are also 15% more likely to say they want to work with companies that are more supportive of LGBT+ rights. Even though there are reports of microaggressions in the workplace, workers in this region were 35% less likely to say that the state’s leadership talked negatively about LGBT+ issues.
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 Western region included: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.
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.
Status of LGBT+ Organizing and Community
Cultural Views of the LGBT+ Community