Lifestyle site Move.org has ranked the best states in the U.S. for queer parents-to-be, and the results may surprise you.
Taking into account factors like hate crime laws, anti-discrimination laws, LGBTQ population density, and same-sex adoption laws, Move.org compiled a list of the five best and five worst states to start an LGBTQ family. The site pulled data from HRC Foundation, the Movement and Advancement Project, and the Williams Institute at UCLA.
“We decided to consider the safety of LGBTQ individuals first and foremost, so we ranked whether the state had hate crime laws in place, whether or not conversion therapy was allowed for minors, and whether anti-discrimination laws were set,” the team wrote in its methodology.
And which state came out on top? Turns out, California is the place to be: Move.org cites the state’s comprehensive hate crime protections and progressive same-sex adoption laws as major factors for its spot at the top. Following its lead are Illinois, Hawaii, Connecticut, and Maryland.
Notably, New York didn’t even make the top 20: the state ranked 26 on Move.org’s lineup.
At the bottom of the list is West Virginia. It’s not entirely that surprising, given the southern state’s history of debating whether sexuality or gender identity should be protected under hate crime statutes.