These Are the Best States for LGBTQ+ Families

The best place for LGBTQ+ families to settle down? Washington D.C.
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profile picture of Wyndi Kappes
Assistant Editor
July 6, 2022
LGBTQ family walking in the park on a sunny day
Image: Victor Torres/Stocksy

Deciding where to raise your family is difficult enough already, but for those in the LGBTQ+ community, the decision can be incredibly stressful. Despite nationwide strides toward equality, there are still some states that are more or less friendly to LGBTQ+ parents based on a variety of factors. A recent report by moving resource company seeks to help LGBTQ+ families identify the best states to put down roots in so baby and parents can feel safe and accepted in their communities.

The report determined which states were best by assigning scores based on how each state performed in the six key indicator categories below. The points went from 1 (the worst possible score) to 100 (the best possible score). The study didn’t factor in other quality of life elements like affordability, climate or culture.

These are the six key factors they considered in each state:

  1. Nondiscrimination laws: States with laws that prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity scored higher than states without such laws.
  2. Adoption and second/step-parent laws: States with laws that prevent LGBTQ+ discrimination by adoption agencies scored higher than states without such laws.
  3. Conversion therapy laws: States where mental health professionals are prohibited from subjecting LGBTQ+ minors to “conversion therapy” scored higher than states that permit these practices.
  4. Hate crime laws: States where criminals can face additional or enhanced penalties for committing crimes that target people because of their race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity scored higher than states without such laws.
  5. Transgender health care: States that ban insurance exclusions for transgender healthcare scored higher than states that don’t.
  6. LGBTQ+ population density: States with larger LGBTQ+ populations scored higher than states where fewer LGBTQ+ people live or feel comfortable coming out.

Based on the scores, the report concluded that Washington D.C. is the best place for LGBTQ+ families. Since Washington D.C. does not lie within any state, the researchers considered it as a state for their rankings. The district’s comprehensive laws and protections for LGBTQ+ individuals and its large LGBTQ+ population earn it the top spot. In second and third, Massachusetts and California both got top marks for their anti-discrimination laws.

All top 10 states have laws banning conversion therapy, with 20 states passing conversion therapy bans in the last five years. Twenty-two states still have no laws or policies prohibiting conversion therapy. These states ranked the lowest on the scale.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 best cities to raise a family, based on their overall scores.

Top 10 Best States for LGBTQ+ Families

  1. Washington D.C.
  2. Massachusetts
  3. California
  4. Vermont
  5. New York
  6. Maine
  7. Oregon
  8. Colorado
  9. Illinois
  10. New Jersey

For a detailed breakdown of how the cities were scored and to see all 50 states and their rank, check out the full online report.

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