Massachusetts is the state with the best LGBTI-inclusive business climate in the US, a new study has found.
The east-coast state ranked ahead of California and New York to take the top spot.
This is according to the LGBT+ Business Climate Index, a survey conducted by business advisory group, Out Leadership.
In the report, the orgainsation noted that companies’ will experience increased profits and productivity states where LGBTI-inclusivity is supported.
It adds that states where LGBTI communities are marginalized can suffer economically as a result.
The survey measured all 50 states on factors such as economic, legislative, culture and wellbeing. They also measured the states on hate crime protection, work safety, and the attitudes of political leaders.
‘Societal marginalization of LGBT+ people has real and serious economic costs’
After Massachusetts, California came in at second place. They were followed by Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Oregon, with Hawai and New York tied at seventh place.
The bottom states were Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Carolina, and Mississippi.
‘Societal marginalization of LGBT+ people – which can often be subtle and hard to measure – has real and serious economic costs,’ Out Leadership said in their report.
‘Major legislative efforts to extend further legal discrimination, such the Religious Freedom Restoration (RFRA) law Mike Pence signed in Indiana in 2016, and North Carolina’s passage of the HB2 “Bathroom Bill,” damaged those states’ reputations for being business-friendly and harmed tourism, resulting in significant economic losses.
‘But discrimination doesn’t need to be headline news to be harmful, or to create real economic hardship for LGBT+ people.’
In contrast, the reverse was found in LGBTI-friendly states.
‘Research demonstrates that companies where LGBT+ people are supported enjoy increased profitability and stock prices as well as increased employee productivity,’ the report added.
‘Our index suggests that a similar relationship exists on a state policy level, and that states that aim to make LGBT+ people more welcome and included legally and culturally will experience significant rewards for doing so, particularly in terms of residents’ well-being and productivity.’
Massachusetts, the top-ranked state
Massachusetts has made numerous headlines regarding the state’s LGBTI inclusivity.
A 2018 report by the Boston Foundation found that Massachusetts had the second highest LGBTI population in the US. Approximately 5% of the people living in the state identify as LGBTI.
Last month, Massachusetts’ Republican Governor signed a bill banning gay conversion therapy for minors in the state. It became the 16th state in the US to ban the practice.
The state also voted to keep legal protections in place for the transgender community in last year’s midterm elections.