While LGBT people now have the right to marry in all 50 states, there are still plenty of places out there that are somewhat lacking in other rights. While gay and lesbian realtors are sure to tell you about many of these issues, it’s up to you to decide if you want to move to one of these states or not. Here are five states that you might want to avoid while looking for a new home or if your job asks you to transfer.
As one of the deep Southern states, Mississippi does not offer LGBT people much protection at all. Naturally, the state had previously passed a gay marriage ban and continues to ban same-sex adoption. However, oddly enough, the 2010 census showed that at least a third of all LGBT couples had one or more children, making the state the leader in same-sex couples raising children in the U.S. Mississippi also had the largest percentage of LGBT African-American couples and came in fifth on the list of highest percentage of same-sex Hispanic couples.
Mississippi’s neighboring state Alabama is just as unwelcoming. The state actually passed a law that forbid discussion of LGBT issues in schools and even requires sex education instructors to state that homosexuality is a criminal offense and is not an acceptable lifestyle. The state has no LGBT hate crime laws, although the city of Montgomery does offer sexual orientation protection.
Another Southern state (noticing a pattern?), many would think that Louisiana wouldn’t be on this list because of New Orleans and its huge Mardi Gras parade. The city’s Southern Decadence pride event is among one of the largest in the world. However, the rest of the state is very conservative. At one point, only 31% of people in the state supported same-sex marriage, the lowest percentage of any state. LGBT people in the state can be fired for their orientation or for being transgender, plus the state is one of the few that does continue to enforce (or try to enforce) its ban on sodomy. In fact, in April of 2014, the state’s legislature actually voted to retain these laws.
Rounding out this list is Texas, a state with eight different cities on the list of “worst places for LGBT people to live.” Four of these actually have been given a score of 0 by the Human Rights Campaign. The state is also one of the worst for women, making it very difficult for lesbian couples to find a reason to move to Texas.