Every US state except Mississippi has at least one LGBTQ elected official: report

Demonstrators carry rainbow flags past the White House during the Equality March for Unity and Peace on June 11, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Demonstrators carry rainbow flags past the White House during the Equality March for Unity and Peace on June 11, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Zach Gibson/Getty Images
  • There are now nearly 1,000 LGBTQ elected officials across the US, according to the Victory Institute
  • Mississippi has 0 out LGBTQ officials. California has 157, Pennsylvania has 54, and Illinois has 43.
  • There are more trans elected officials than out Republican elected officials across the US
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Forty-nine of 50 US states have at least one elected official that identifies as LGBTQ, according to a new report by the Victory Institute, an organization promoting LGBTQ representation in government. The report was first covered by the New York Times.

The only state lacking any out LGBTQ elected officials is Mississippi. Neighboring states have similarly low numbers. Alabama has just 1 out LGBTQ elected official, while Louisiana has 2.

The state with the most out LGBTQ elected officials is California, with 157, followed by Pennsylvania (54) and Illinois (43).

Overall, the report found that there are now 986 LGBTQ elected officials around the country, a figure that has more than doubled in the last five years. The organization identified 448 officials in 2017.

Their current ranks included 2 governors, 2 US senators, 9 US House members, 189 state legislators and 56 mayors around the country.

The report also showed a large gulf between the country’s two major political parties — just 26 of the nearly 1,000 LGBTQ elected officials are Republican.

“There are more trans elected officials than there are out Republican elected officials,” Annise Parker, the Victory Institute’s president and CEO, told the New York Times. The report found that there are currently 68 non-cis gender LGBTQ elected officials across 29 states in the US.

Parker also called former President Trump “probably the best recruiter of Democratic candidates you could possibly have,” citing anti-Trump fervor among Democrats as a key reason for more LGBTQ elected officials running.

The report stressed that despite 17-25% growth in LGBTQ representation in recent years, full representation is a long way off. “We still must elect 28,116 more LGBTQ people to public office before equitable representation is achieved,” said the report, noting that 0.19% of all elected officials identify as LGBTQ.

Overall, LGBTQ elected officials remain less racially diverse than the country as a whole: 72% are white, 12% are Latino, and 9% are Black/African American/Afro-Caribbean. But they are more diverse of the U.S. than non-LGBTQ officials, and the number of Black LGBTQ elected officials grew 75% in the last year.