Texas Lands Near the Middle of States Ranked by Friendliness to LGBTQ+ Residents

click to enlarge ROSEMARY KETCHUM / PEXELS
Rosemary Ketchum / Pexels
Texas slotted in at No. 27 in a new study ranking U.S. states on how welcoming they are to the LGBTQ+ community.

The financial news site 24/7 Wall Street compared states by their number of hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation and gender identity and also their laws affecting LGBTQ+ people. The study also took into account the number of LGBTQ+ people in each state plus its number of pride centers per capita.

Topping the list was Nevada, which has the nation's second-highest LGBTQ+ population and also passed 34 laws protecting the rights and safety of those residents between 2009 and last year.

Alabama ranked 50th due to its relatively small LGBTQ+ population and lack of legal protections for them. Indeed, Alabama police jurisdictions don't even participate in reporting of hate crimes motivated by gender or sexual orientation, according to the report.

Texas' middling rank comes down to its continued lack of statewide nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people in employment, housing, education, adoption and other areas, according to 24/7 Wall Street. It's also one of just 10 states that allow child welfare organizations to discriminate against potential LGBTQ+ parents in adoptions based on religious objections.

The bright spot for the Lone Star State is that some of its biggest cities — San Antonio among them — protect people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Although timed to coincide with Pride Month, the study also happened to dovetail with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that existing federal law protects queer and transgender people in the workplace.

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