The Senate Passes ENDA, Clarifying America's Gay-Friendliest States

In a two-to-one vote Thursday afternoon, the Senate passed the Employee Non-Discrimination Act. By going on the record, it gives us an opportunity to rank America's gay-friendliest states.

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In a two-to-one vote on Thursday afternoon, the Senate passed the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), as expected after it ended a filibuster earlier in the week. The senators going on the record, though, offers an opportunity: We can have an up-to-the-minute ranking of the gay-friendliest states in America.

The final tally was 64 to 32, with 10 Republican senators joining the Democratic caucus in support. This is the point where we offer the bad news for supporters: both Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor have suggested there won't be a House vote. Among the reasons the Republicans offer is that the law isn't needed, that there exist laws preventing discrimination already. There's an element of truth to this. There are regional and state laws offering some of the protections in ENDA — but not all of the protections, and not in every state. The ACLU has a map of the states that do.

Meaning that between the ENDA vote, existing anti-discrimination laws, and the legalization of same-sex marriage, we can by now offer a pretty complete picture of the gay friendliest states in the Union. So, let's.

First, we looked at Thursday's vote. Each state got one point for each senator that voted for ENDA. Which gives us this map.

Then, we incorporated the data from the ACLU map. There are five levels of protection, from none (white) to complete prohibition of discrimination on sexual orientation or gender identity (dark red). In between, from light to dark: prohibition on discrimination on sexual orientation in the public sector, prohibition on discrimination on orientation or identity in the public sector, and prohibition on discrimination on orientation at any job. We doled out 0 to 5 points, depending on the level. Giving us:

And finally, the states that have allowed same-sex marriage (dark yellow) or civil unions (light yellow). This one got double points — two for SSM, one for unions.

Once we add up the scores, we get the gay-friendliest states in America. That map looks like this:

Gay friendliest (10 points, SSM, full discrimination protection, two Senate "yes" votes): California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington

Least gay friendly (Zero points, none of the above): Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wyoming

Everyone else:

  • Delaware, 9 points
  • Iowa, 9 points
  • Maryland, 9 points
  • New Hampshire, 9 points
  • New York, 9 points
  • Colorado, 8 points
  • Nevada, 6 points
  • New Mexico, 6 points
  • Oregon, 6 points
  • Hawaii, 4 points
  • Michigan, 4 points
  • Ohio, 4 points
  • Wisconsin, 4 points
  • Arizona, 3 points
  • Indiana, 3 points
  • Montana, 3 points
  • Pennsylvania, 3 points
  • Alaska, 2 points
  • Kansas, 2 points
  • Kentucky, 2 points
  • Missouri, 2 points
  • Virginia, 2 points
  • West Virginia, 2 points
  • Arkansas, 1 points
  • Florida, 1 points
  • Louisiana, 1 points
  • North Carolina, 1 points
  • North Dakota, 1 points
  • Oklahoma, 1 points
  • South Dakota, 1 points
  • Utah, 1 points
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.