Wagswoofs – Safe Home, a company specializing in home security and personal safety, conducted a study on the safety of LGBT+ individuals in every US state. To gather data, they utilized information from over a dozen sources, such as the FBI, the UCLA School of Law, and the US Census. Based on their research, Safe Home ranked each state according to its level of safety for the LGBT+ community.
Safe Home compiled the list by analyzing the status of LGBT+ rights in every state, taking into account aspects such as the prevalence of hate crimes, the level of support for queer families, the degree of protection for LGBT+ employees, and the availability of public accommodations for the LGBT+ community.
According to research, the majority of US states (57%) lack comprehensive legal protection for the LGBT+ community. The state with the lowest level of safety for this community is North Dakota, with a score of -78 out of 100.
LGBT+ individuals in North Dakota are not afforded any public accommodation protections, nor are there any existing legal measures in place to prevent discrimination against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, whether in the public or private sector. Even anti-bullying laws and adoption laws fail to address the issues faced by queer individuals in the state.
Recently, Governor Doug Burgum of North Dakota signed House Bill 1503 into law, which permits student organizations in colleges and universities to discriminate against LGBT+ students.
Researchers identified several states as the most dangerous, including South Dakota, Kansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Montana.
In terms of safety index score, both California and Vermont have received a perfect 100 points, making them the safest states for LGBT+ individuals.
In California, both married and unmarried same-sex couples are granted the opportunity for second parent adoption. Additionally, queer employees are safeguarded from discrimination in both public and private sectors. On the other hand, Vermont ensures comprehensive protections for the LGBT+ community in healthcare.
In healthcare, discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation is prohibited, and trans exclusion is not allowed in health insurance. Additionally, the state boasts a trans youth clinic that provides essential services and support to the community.
Although California and Vermont have strong safeguards in place for their LGBT+ citizens, they still experienced a higher incidence of hate crimes than the country’s average. This demonstrates that even the most secure states have significant room for improvement.
In addition to California, nine other states also made it to the top 10 list. These states include Maryland, Washington, Illinois, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island.
According to researchers, there is a significant gap between the treatment of LGBT+ residents in different US states. They believe that every state has areas for improvement when it comes to providing a secure living environment for the LGBT+ community, regardless of their performance in the rankings.