America is a beautiful place, but it's not always gorgeous for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Without national marriage equality or workplace or housing protections, there is little security for millions of us. So, what's the worst of the worst when it comes to hostile places? Rolling Stone ranked the five most terrible states, with four unsurprisingly coming from the South and a fifth from the Rust Belt:
Struggling Michigan landed in the top five for numerous factors. One is a horrifying record of violence against transgender women and Detroit being named the most dangerous American city for gay people in 2012. Michigan also has no workplace protections, adoption rights, or marriage equality, with the state's attorney general fighting hard to keep the marriage ban. Domestic-partner benefits for state employees were even taken away. Geez, Michigan, maybe it's time to embrace the future.
New Orleans may be one of the best cities in the world and a favorite of gay travelers, but Louisiana is no friend to LGBTs. The state has the lowest public approval of marriage equality (31 percent) and they even had a judge rule against marriage equality. There is also no statewide employement, housing, or healthcare protections. Backwards officials also attempt to enforce sodomy laws, even though they were thrown out by the Supreme Court a decade ago.
This Republican stronghold may have flourishing gay culture in places like Dallas, Houston, and Austin but the government and leaders are openly hostile to LGBT people. Dunderheaded governor Rick Perry compares homosexuality to alcoholism, saying you can wish it away, while his party's platform embraces "conversion therapy." Texas vehemently oppose marriage equality and healthcare is terrible, something that especially affects LGBT people. Additionally, equality for women in the Lone Star State is a joke.
The racism that permeates Alabama has profoundly negative effects on LGBT people of color, who face discrimination at every turn. Alabama's school curricula pretends gay people don't exist, or attempts to tell children that homosexuality is dangerous. There is rampant income inequality, which hurts LGBT people who are often poorer than their straight counterparts, and hate crimes are common. Things are so bad, out Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke out about the antigay situation in his home state.
This Deep South state may have bucked predictions by having a judge overturn its marriage ban recently, but even marriages arrive in Mississippi, things remain dismal for LGBT people. You can be fired from your job and tossed from your apartment there, while segregation and attacks remain common. Schools are terrible, healthcare is abysmal, and the state ranks near the bottom of most everything positive. Mississippi even passed a law that would enable businessowners to discriminate against LGBT people (in the name of their religion, of ocurse). As Rolling Stone, points out, Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoed a similar law, and when Arizona is ahead of you in equality, you're in deep trouble.