Conn. (WTNH) — Amid Pride Month, Connecticut has the chance to celebrate for taking the No. 2 spot on this year’s State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index.
The fourth annual climate index, unveiled by Out Leadership, ranks 50 states. Each state is given a score out of 100 points, based on 20 markers assessing LGBTQ+ people’s first-hand experiences across five categories: legal and nondiscrimination protections, youth and family support, political and religious attitudes, health access and safety, and work environment and employment.
Connecticut received a business climate score of 92.87. In terms of legal and nondiscrimination protection, Connecticut had a perfect score, as now it is no longer required to receive a signed affidavit to change gender markers on birth certificates. Additionally, there is a nonbinary gender option. The state also outlaws discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
In the four other business climate categories, Connecticut received at least 18 out of 20 points. Conversion therapy is banned, there are laws protecting youths in foster care on the basis of sexual orientation, and Connecticut state senators and governor have records speaking in favor of LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion.
Additionally, hate crimes protections extend to sexual orientation and gender identity, and a low percentage of LGBTQ+ identifying individuals reported being harassed in the workplace.
Connecticut fell short of the top ranking state behind New York, which ranked first for the second year in a row, scoring 93.67.
While some states made leaps — like Alaska jumping eight points over the past year due to positive legal and nondiscrimination protections — others remained stagnant. South Carolina had the lowest ranking state in LGBTQ+ equality for the third consecutive year, pulling in just 33.63 points.
“All of these shifts, for better and worse, are happening in a country that has never been more polarized,” Founder and CEO of Out Leadership said in a statement. “Any number of factors have contributed to this fact: Covid, the January 6th insurrection, pending landmark Supreme Court decisions, and the upcoming midterm elections, to name a few. Each of these events and many more fuel a fire that motivates those organized in opposition to equality.”