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Study looks at discrimination against LGBTQ entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs in New York may have more difficulty raising startup capital if they openly identify as gay, lesbian or transgender, according to a new national study. A nonprofit group called StartOut looked at discrimination of LGBTQ entrepreneurs by investors in the business world. The study also examined how LGBTQ entrepreneurs deal with the discrimination that they face and whether they choose to remain closeted.

Discriminatory state laws affect some new business owners in the LGBTQ community. There are currently 28 states that allow employers to fire employees because they have identified as LGBTQ. Employers in four additional states are allowed to fire workers for being transgender. An author of the StartOut study said that she wanted to dig deeper into the problem of LGBTQ discrimination so that she could show politicians that LGBTQ entrepreneurs are leaving certain states and taking money and jobs with them.

LGBTQ entrepreneurs may face discrimination while fundraising for startups even if they are based in states that have LGBTQ-friendly laws. According to the StartOut study, more than one-third of LGBTQ entrepreneurs are not "out" while dealing with potential investors. The study showed that entrepreneurs who identify as LGBTQ are not able to raise as much startup funding as other entrepreneurs. The financial toll is worse for women who identify as lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

Members of the LGBTQ community often face employment discrimination when they are looking for a job. While discrimination during the hiring process can be difficult to prove, it can be proven if an employer has demonstrated a pattern of discriminating against openly gay and lesbian job applicants. An employment law attorney might be able to help an individual build an employment discrimination case against an employer.

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