LGBTQ business climate improves in Illinois

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Illinois climbed up a ranking of states scored for their friendliness for LGBTQ business and employment.

Out Leadership, an LGBTQ business leaders and company network, last week released the State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index for 2021 and accompanying U.S. State CEO Business Briefs.

The 3rd annual State LGBTQ+ Business Climate Index comes out as anti-LGBTQ bills are introduced and passed in state legislatures across the country.

The top five states were New YorkConnecticutMassachusettsMaine, and Vermont while the bottom five states were ArkansasLouisianaSouth DakotaTennessee, and South Carolina.

Illinois ranked at 14, just below New Mexico and above Virginia. Last year, the state was at 16. It ranked number one in the Midwest.

“The past 12 months have brought a confluence of paradigm-shifting events beyond the COVID-19 pandemic: the nationwide anti-racism protests, a presidential election, the favorable US Supreme Court ruling on LGBTQ+ workplace equality (Clayton Vs Bostock), and coordinated attacks on transgender rights in state legislatures,” said Out Leadership founder and CEO Todd Sears. “What these events have shown us is that the path to full equality for the LGBTQ+ community — and for all Americans — is fragile.”

Out Leadership said in a statement that by June 1, there had been more than 130 bills filed in statehouses.

Except for Wisconsin, which moved up one place to 21, and Missouri, which kept a rank of 33, all of Illinois’ neighbors dropped in ranking. Indiana fell to 36, dropping 11 places and the biggest drop in the country. Iowa dropped four places to 25 and Kentucky dropped two places to 42.

You can read the full report here.