This year, HRC’s 2015 Municipal Equality Index (MEI) found that more and more cities across America are establishing fully inclusive local protections for LGBT people.
The MEI, which is a nationwide evaluation on the laws, policies, and services of municipalities and rates them on the basis of their inclusivity of LGBT people who live and work there, rated 47 out of 408 cities across the country with a 100-point score. That’s up from 38 cities in 2014, 25 cities in 2013 and 11 cities in 2012. At least 32 million people live in cities with fully inclusive local protections that are not guaranteed by the states in which they live.
The MEI rates each municipality in five categories: Non-Discrimination Laws, Municipality as Employer, Municipal Services, Law Enforcement and Relationship with the LGBT Community.
While cities must excel in all those categories to achieve a perfect score, cities must also embrace comprehensive transgender-inclusive laws and policies that often go beyond explicit protections offered by their state or the federal government. This year, 66 cities, or 16 percent, of those rated in 2015 are offering transgender-inclusive health care options to city employees.
This year’s MEI also advised cities on how to address the epidemic of anti-transgender violence and expand domestic partnership laws and policies.
Want to check your city's score? Text 'MYCITY' to 30644 to check scores in your area. (SMS & data rates may apply. Text STOP to quit.)
Counting down to 2016, HRC is celebrating our greatest milestones and victories in 2015. It has been another incredible year for LGBT equality and we could not have done it without you -- our members, readers and supporters--and we look forward to continuing our work in 2016. Stay tuned for more highlights from 2015.