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State-level climate, anti-discrimination law, and sexual minority health status: An ecological study

January 2018

Alexa Solazzo, Tony N. Brown, Bridget K. Gorman


This article outlines one of the first studies done to find that there is a positive relationship between sexual-minority friendly climates and state-level anti-discrimination law on LGB health. This study emphasizes that the context in which individuals live is pertinent in understanding population health. In states with anti-discrimination laws and sexually minority friendly climates, the health of LGB adults is significantly greater than those LGB adults living in states without such laws or friendly climates. The LGB Climate Index was used in this study, though there was however, a distinction to be made between bisexual adults and gay or lesbian adults. For bisexual adults, there were no significant findings to suggest that anti-discrimination laws and sexual-minority friendly climates had a positive effect on health, just as there was not any data found to suggest such a relationship between heterosexual adults

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Policy Implications

To improve population health of LGB adults within a state, protections for LGB adults in their day-to-day lives must be considered. Anti-discrimination laws in place concerning housing, employment and public accommodations and an overall sexual-minority friendly climate can work to protect the health of LGB adults.

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