The Washington-based Human Rights Campaign and the Equality Federation Institute have listed New Jersey as one of the best stated for LGBTQ protections.

"New Jersey has really taken care of many of the things that we think about with respect to core basic protections for the LGBTQ community, non-discrimination in employment, housing, public spaces and education," Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow said.

As with other states, the groups ranked New Jersey in their annual State Equality Index, scoring New Jersey on laws governing issues including parenting, workplaces, youth rights and health.

Warbelow said New Jersey was on the "cutting edge" of making sure LGBTQ individuals are protected in other walks of life as well. New Jersey is one of 17 states in the report's highest category, "Working Toward Innovative Equality:

On the coin's other side, report lists 30 states it says that do not have adequate LGBTQ community protections, in it's "Building Equality" and "High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality" categories. The groups estimate that 8 million members of the LGBTQ community and their families remain at risk of discrimination if they live in one of those states.

But Warbelow says New Jersey could also improve, with better nondiscrimination laws in adoption and foster care. She said additionally, the LGBTQ population is over-represented New Jersey's homeless.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.

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