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Gays Prefer Working in States with Marriage Equality

October 19, 2009

Other factors being equal, 71% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adults would prefer a job with an employer based in a state where marriage equality is recognized over an employer based in a state that does not yet recognize marriage equality for same-sex couples, according to the 2009 Out & Equal Workplace Survey, conducted jointly by Harris Interactive, Out & Equal, and Witeck-Combs Communication.

When the same question is asked of lesbian and gay adults only, 79% would prefer working for an employer based in a state allowing same-sex marriage:

Key findings:

  • Respondents were asked to imagine themselves in a hypothetical scenario: They live in a state that recognizes marriage equality, and their employer is requiring that they transfer to a state that does not. Then they were asked how they would respond. More than 4 out of 10 (42%) of LGBT adults say they would consider changing jobs.
  • Some 39% of LGBT adults would decline a promotion if it required transferring to a state that did not allow same-sex marriage.
  • Among gay and lesbian adults, nearly half (47%) would turn down the promotion.

"As marriage equality reaches more states and touches more lives, more families, and more workplaces, employers based in states that deny this right will begin to face increasing challenges in trying to recruit and retain top LGBT talent," said Out & Equal Founding Executive Director Selisse Berry. "Marriage equality is a real business issue for all of America's business leaders as they strive to achieve a diverse, well-qualified, and loyal workforce."


The survey results highlight how the weak economy is changing attitudes and openness among LGBT workers:

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