The Best and Worst States for LGBTQ Legal Protections

The Best and Worst States for LGBTQ Legal Protections

The nonprofit has created a ranking of the best and worst places for LGBTQ people to live. Their rankings took things like population, crime, employment, and marriage/families into consideration when creating the ranking.

According to SafeHome, the key takeaways from their findings include:

  • Vermont and California scored the highest for LGBTQ+ safety, while North Dakota scored the lowest.
  • States with higher populations of LGBTQ+ residents also had higher than average rates of hate crime against the LGBTQ+ community, even in states that scored highly on the index regarding protection in the workplace, healthcare, and community.
  • LGBTQ+ focused adoption laws are not consistent across the country — 22 states’ adoption laws do not explicitly state they allow same-sex couples the right to second-parent adoption.
  • Only half of U.S. states have laws (including the District of Columbia) that include one or more LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination health care provisions for private insurance.
  • On average, states have more laws in place protecting LGBTQ+ public employees than private employees. 59% of states have laws that protect employees of state and local governments from discrimination based on sexual orientation, while 41% of states have laws that protect employees in the private sector from discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression.
Pride in San Francisco (Photo: Sundry Photography)

In the top spots were California and Vermont. Both states had higher hate crime rates (which was surprising to hear for Vermont), but their wide array of anti-discrimination laws helped make them great places for LGBTQ singles and families to live.

Completing the top 10 best states for LGBTQ to live were:

3) Maryland
4) Washington
5 & 6) Illinois and Oregon (tie)
7) Massachusetts
8) New York
9) Rhode Island
10) Colorado

Not surprisingly, the usual suspects compile the bottom of the list, with rural states like the Dakotas and Montana, and the Deep South, like Georgia and Mississippi, forming the bottom five.

Fargo, North Dakota (Photo: Guy William)
The absolute worst state was North Dakota, which, according to the findings, doesn’t provide any type of LGBTQ protections. Not in the public or private employment sector, not in housing discrimination, or public accommodation.

For more information about the study, you can find the full results here


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