The Impact of Stigma and Discrimination Against LGBT People in Arizona
By Christy Mallory, Brad Sears, Taylor N.T. Brown and Russell Toomey
Arizona’s legal landscape and social climate put the state’s 203,000 LGBT adults and 45,500 LGBT youth at risk of discrimination and harassment. The social, economic and health effects of stigma and discrimination against LGBT people negatively impact the state’s economy by tens of millions of dollars each year.
A number of businesses and localities in Arizona protect LGBT people from discrimination, however, the statewide Civil Rights Act does not currently include sexual orientation or gender identity.
This study documents the prevalence and impact of several forms of stigma and discrimination against LGBT individuals in Arizona in areas such as employment, housing and public accommodations.
- 39% percent of LGBT adults in Arizona reported having an annual household income below $24,000, compared to 24% of non-LGBT adults. Similarly, 35% of LGBT adults in Arizona reported that they do not have enough for food compared to 18% of non-LGBT adults.
- LGBT adults in Arizona are significantly more likely to have been diagnosed with a depressive disorder and to be current smokers than non-LGBT adults: 35% of LGBT adults in Arizona reported having been diagnosed with a depressive disorder compared to 19% of non-LGBT adults, and 28% of LGBT adults in the state are current smokers compared to 16% of non-LGBT adults. Depression and smoking are two health outcomes that have been linked to experiences of stigma and discrimination.
- We estimate that reducing the disparity in major depressive disorder between LGBT and non-LGBT people in Arizona by 25% to 33.3% could benefit the state’s economy by $78.0 million to $104.5 million annually.
- We estimate that reducing the disparity in current smoking by the same proportion could benefit the state’s economy by $35.6 million to $47.4 million in increased productivity and reduced health care costs each year.