With the breadth of rights and protections across the United States, Move.org ranked all 50 states from best to worst for starting an LGBTQ family.
The site considered numerous factors and gathered data from organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, Movement and Advancement Project, and UCLA’s Williams Institute.
The resulting ranking considered things like hate crime and anti-discrimination laws, adoption laws, conversion therapy laws, and more.
In formulating the research, Move decided to ‘consider the safety of LGBTQ+ individuals first and foremost’.
‘Additionally, we looked at overall equality by state, the number of pride centers in a state, the number of LGBTQ+ friendly businesses, and the number of same-sex couples,’ they stated.
So what are the best states?
Coming in first place is California, with Move saying the Golden State ‘checks all our boxes for raising an LGBTQ+ family’. It has laws protecting LGBTQ people, and allows same-sex couples to adopt.
Its LGBTQ population density is 4.9%, with about 1.5 million people identifying as part of the community.
California is also excelling in other areas, such as offering inclusive education.
The other four, in descending order, are: Illinois, Hawaii, Connecticut, and Maryland.
Surprisingly, states known for their liberal environments, such as Massachusetts and New York, didn’t rank in the top 10. Massachusetts landed at spot 15, while New York came in at 26.
And the worst?
The five worst states, in descending order, are: North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Virginia, and, in last place, West Virginia.
All of these states lack comprehensive laws protecting their LGBTQ residents. Conversion therapy for minors isn’t explicitly prohibited and same-sex couples will have a harder time adopting.
South Dakota, for example, became the first state in 2017 to pass anti-LGBTQ legislation. It allows adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples for religious or moral reasons.
They also fall short in other areas, such as the Catholic Church in Wisconsin considering denying funeral services to LGBTQ people.
Finally, the ranking also list the best cities in each state, as well as median home sale prices.