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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The LGBT Divide: A Data Portrait of LGBT People in the Midwestern, Mountain & Southern States

  • Author(s): Hasenbush, Amira
  • Flores, Andrew
  • Kastanis, Angeliki
  • Sears, Brad
  • Gates, Gary
  • et al.

LGBT Americans in the 29 states without state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation consistently see greater disparities than in the 21 states with such laws, including less social acceptance, greater economic vulnerability, especially among African-American LGBT workers, and wider household income gaps. This report reviews social climate, demographic, economic and health indicators, and highlights disparities between the 21 states that currently have non-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation and the 29 states without such laws. It also highlights regional disparities for LGBT individuals living in the South, Midwest and Mountain states. Several of the regional differences include: LGBT Americans in the South, compared to LGBT people in other regions in the country, face lower insurance rates, LGBT people from the Midwest are less likely to have completed a college degree by age 25 than non-LGBT Midwesterners, men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Mountain states have the highest incidence of HIV in the country, and same-sex couples in the Mountain states have the lowest adoption rates of same-sex couples throughout the country.

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