The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the Equality Federation Institute released their eighth annual State Equality Index (SEI).
The SEI is a comprehensive report that groups states and Washington, D.C., into several broad categories regarding the type of advocacy that occurs there and details statewide laws and policies that affect LGBTQ+ people and their families.
A record-breaking 21 states and Washington, D.C. were recognized in the SEI for prioritizing innovative measures to advance LGBTQ+ equalitywith Iowa, New Hampshire and Virginia joining those in the top category for the first time. These states have robust LGBTQ+ non-discrimination laws covering housing, healthcare and public accommodations.
Although there has been incredible progress, by only March 2021, state legislatures across the country had filed more legislation that specifically targeted the transgender community than in modern history. In contrast, 2020 had previously held the record of the most anti-transgender legislation introduced, with 79 pieces of legislation2021 had 147.
The results are as follows:
Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia are in the highest-rated category, "Working Toward Innovative Equality": California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; District of Columbia; Hawaii; Illinois; Iowa, Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; Oregon; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; and Washington.
Three states are in the category "Solidifying Equality": Alaska; Pennsylvania; and Utah.
Four states are in the category "Building Equality": Florida; Kansas; North Dakota; and Wisconsin.
Twenty-two states are in the lowest-rated category,"High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality": Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; Georgia; Idaho; Indiana; Kentucky; Louisiana; Michigan; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; North Carolina; Ohio; Oklahoma; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; West Virginia; and Wyoming.
Illinois excelled in nine categories, including housing, transgender healthcare, employing, anti-bullying initiatives and more.
The full report is at www.hrc.org/resources/state-equality-index.