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Sustainable Investing

Pride Month Editor’s Note: Addressing Bias Against the LGBTQ+ Community

How advisors can be allies to the growing population that identifies as LGBTQ+.


There’s a lot to celebrate this Pride Month, which honors the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities, but there’s also a lot at stake for this wide, diverse group.

On the side of progress: Options are now available to self-select identification markers in U.S. legal documents, and India has repealed Section 377, which criminalized homosexuality. Yet at the same time, the American Civil Liberties Union is tracking more than 400 anti-LGBTQ+ bills across the United States, and hate crimes against transgender people jumped 56% in 2022 in the U.K.

This struggle shows no signs of easing, and the magnitude of its importance is only increasing.

The number of U.S. adults that identify as LGBTQ+ has more than doubled since Gallup first started collecting this data in 2012 (to 7.2% from 3.5%), with younger generations making up the bulk of this group. Nearly 20% of Gen Z identifies as LGBTQ+, and about 11% of millennials do so.

As this group continues to grow, creating an inclusive workplace is critical to good business today.

“The American workforce is as diverse as it has ever been and will become even more so in the future,” Morningstar’s Jon Hale has said. “Nothing can change that. Employment policies that reflect and respect diversity are just a fact of life for corporate America as companies compete for talent.”

Indeed, more than 80% of employees surveyed by the Edelman Trust Barometer 2023 expect CEOs to take a stand on fair treatment of employees and discrimination.

LGBTQ+ individuals face some financial challenges. For instance, poverty rates among U.S. adults are higher among LGBTQ+ people than for straight cisgender people.

Housing insecurity is also a problem: The risk of homelessness among younger LGBTQ+ adults (ages 18-25) is 2.2 times greater than among non-LGBTQ+ young adults, according to a 2019 study by the Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement and Research.

In terms of retirement preparedness, LGBTQ+ adults are less likely to be confident in having enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement. You can read about it in this roundup of key statistics by Christine Benz and Margaret Giles.

For this group, financial advice is more necessary than ever. We took a look at how financial advisors can make their practices more LGBTQ-friendly, in this piece from Lee Reisch, associate director at Morningstar Sustainalytics.

Morningstar contributor Brian Thompson, a tax attorney and a Certified Financial Planner, discusses tips to consider and mishaps to avoid when working with the LGBTQ+ community. And Keith Reid-Cleveland profiles Andrea Romero, a transgender Louisiana financial advisor who has always followed a calling to help the most vulnerable people—and finds financial advising is no exception.

For advisors, Victor Orozco, managing partner of San Diego-based Bair Financial Planning, says that “education is first and foremost—plus having your heart in the right place.” Orozco says 45% of the firm’s clients identify with some part of LGBTQ+.

“Understand conversations you may not relate to,” Orozco says. “What are the issues of this community? If someone from this community were to look at your business, are they being recognized?”

Thanks for reading, and Happy Pride Month.

The author or authors do not own shares in any securities mentioned in this article. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.

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