South Dakota, Florida Rank Last In LGBTQ State Safety Report

Wyoming comes in 49th with a 53.5, reflecting its high rate of hate crimes.

Safehome has released its third annual LGBTQ+ State Safety Report Card ranking all 50 states and Washington D.C.

“Despite years of progress toward inclusion and equality for LGBTQ+ Americans, a sense of safety at home remains elusive for many,” the company states in their release. “By the end of last year, 75 of the 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced across the country in 2023 had become law, and in 2022, hate crimes against LGBTQ+ Americans reached a five-year high. With hate crimes rising and more anti-LGBTQ+ bills under consideration, it’s essential to monitor the state of safety across the nation regularly.”

Safehome’s ranking system relies on legislative analysis, as well as the opinion of 1,000 LGBTQ+ Americans. After tallying the number of anti-LGBTQ+ laws in each state, researchers weighted them based on the perceived impact on queer Americans. For the first time this year, the frequency of LGBTQ hate crimes reported by the FBI was also used to determine rankings.

Coming in at #51 (as the most unsafe) is South Dakota with a 46.8 ranking. Researchers report that anti-equality laws in the state outweigh equality protections. The state is also home to the second-fewest same-sex couples per capita, ranking in front of North Dakota. This is a notable decrease from the state’s position at #45 last year.

The second most unsafe state for queer Americans is Florida with a 47.5 scoring. Unsurprisingly, the state’s recent harsh legislation, including the Don’t Say Gay law, has created one of the worst legal environments in the country. Last year, Florida was ranked #15.

Wyoming comes in 49th with a 53.5, reflecting its high rate of hate crimes. Ohio ranks in 48th with a 53.7 after passing legislation modeled after Florida’s, as well as high hate crime rates. Rounding out the bottom five is Alabama with a 55.8.

If you’re searching for a new state to call home, Safehome’s top five safest states suggest low levels of hate crimes and equality protection laws.

Coming in at #1 is Rhode Island with a score of 100. The state earned an A+ in safety analysis, has a high percentage of same-sex couples, and some of the country’s most comprehensive laws protecting LGBTQ health, safety, and family planning.

New Hampshire takes the #2 spot with a 98.3 ranking. It has one of the country’s lowest rates of reported hate crimes. It scored a bit lower than Rhode Island because the state does not protect against discrimination on credit applications.

Delaware received a 98.1, putting it in third for low levels of hate crimes and equality protections. Alaska snagged the #4 spot with a 93.5. Although the state does not have as many legal protections, it has the third-highest percentage of same-sex couples who are raising a child. Hawaii rounds out the top five with a grade of 92.5.

You can view the full list of rankings here.

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