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Nevada ranks as the best state for LGBTQ+ residents while Alabama comes in last, according to a report.
Nevada tops the list for most LGBTQ+ friendly states while Alabama ranks as the worst state, according to a report by USA Today.
Following Alabama as the worst states for LGBTQ+ people are:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
Unlike most states, which have mandatory hate crime reporting laws, Alabama police jurisdictions do not participate in reporting hate crimes motivated by gender or sexual orientation, according to the report. The state has laws that negatively affect the LGBTQ+ community. The report provides an example from 2017 when Gov. Kay Ivey signed legislation that would permit religious adoption agencies to deny placing a child in LGBTQ families.
However, North Dakota ranks No. 1 for the state with the lowest LGBTQ+ population—2.7%, approximately 16,000 people. It is one of 26 states with laws in place that criminalize behaviors that carry low or negligible risk of human immunodeficiency virus transmission.
Following Nevada as the best states for LGBTQ+ people are:
- New York
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
Oregon tops the list for states with the highest percentage of LGBTQ+ residents (5.6%, approximately 183,000 people). California has the largest total of LGBTQ+ people (1,615,000).
Although Oregon is LGBTQ+ friendly, USA Today reports that Oregon had 31 hate crimes motivated by gender identity or sexual orientation reported in 2018, one of the highest hate crime rates among states.
With Nevada ranking as the best state for LGBTQ+ people, it has a relatively low share of hate crimes. The state passed 34 laws protecting the rights and safety of its LGBTQ+ residents from 2009 to 2019.
USA Today created an index of three measures—hate crimes motivated by gender and sexual orientation reported per 100,000 people, laws protecting the LGTBQ+ community, and the percentage of each state's population that identifies as LGTBQ+—to identify the best and worst states for LGBTQ+ people.
While Virginia did not rank in the top 10 best states for LGBTQ+ people, it is making progress towards equal rights for all. In 2020, Virginia lawmakers passed a bill that would give comprehensive protection to the LGBTQ+ community, making it the first Southern state to do so.
For more information from the USA Today report click here.
Andre Claudio is an assistant editor at Route Fifty.