Discrimination Against LGBT People in Georgia Impacts 300,000 LGBT Adults and 58,200 LGBT Youth

Author: The Williams Institute
Published: Friday 27th January 2017 - Updated: Tuesday 28th February 2017
Summary: The Economic Impact of Discrimination and Stigma Against LGBT People in Georgia report reveals stigma and discrimination negatively impact LGBT adults and youth in the State.

Georgia's unsupportive legal landscape and social climate contribute to an environment in which LGBT people are at risk of discrimination and harassment, with costs estimated in the hundreds of millions, according to The Economic Impact of Discrimination and Stigma Against LGBT People in Georgia, a new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.

"State laws in Georgia do not protect LGBT people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, and local ordinances protect only about 5 percent of Georgia's residents from such discrimination," said Christy Mallory, Senior Counsel at the Williams Institute and co-author of the report. "Additionally, Georgia ranks in the bottom quarter of states in terms of social support for LGBT people, although support is increasing over time."

The study estimated costs related to discrimination against LGBT people in employment and other settings; to bullying and family rejection of LGBT youth; and to health disparities resulting from a challenging climate for LGBT people. The study drew upon state-level data to estimate some of the cost savings that would result if Georgia were to move towards creating a more accepting environment for its 300,000 LGBT adults and 58,200 LGBT youth.

"For example, we estimate that Georgia's economy would benefit by $110.6 million to $147.3 million each year if the excess burden of major depressive disorder among LGBT people associated with stigma-producing stress was reduced by 25-33.3 percent," said Dr. Kerith Conron, Blachford-Cooper Research Director and Distinguished Scholar at the Williams Institute. "Similarly, Georgia's economy would benefit by $81.5 million to $108.6 million if the excess burden of smoking among LGBT people was reduced by 25-33.3 percent."

The study found that stigma and discrimination against LGBT people in Georgia can negatively affect the state, businesses, and the economy in a number of ways:

The Economic Impact of Discrimination and Stigma Against LGBT People in Georgia concluded that if Georgia were to move toward creating a more supportive legal and social environment for LGBT people, it would likely lead to economic advantages for the state as a whole.

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