Even in the Reddest of States, America’s Cities are Leading the Way in the Fight for LGBT Equality
November 19, 2013 by Cathryn Oakley, Legislative Counsel, State & Municipal Advocacy
Cities are leading the way in the fight for LGBT equality, and the 2013 Municipal Equality Index explains how. In big cities and small, from coast to coast and in between, in red states and blue states, cities are acting to bring equality to their own backyards.
The 2013 MEI rates 291 municipalities drawn from every state in the nation on the basis of how inclusive their laws and policies are of LGBT people. These laws and policies include non-discrimination laws, equal employee benefits, relationship recognition, inclusive city services and leadership on matters of equality. Twenty-five cities earned a perfect 100-point score.
To read the report, please visit www.hrc.org/mei. This report is published by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the Equality Federation Institute.
Here are some of the key findings of the report:
- Cities across the country achieved excellent scores, demonstrating that cities have a commitment to LGBT equality that is unbridled by regionalism and not confined to parts of the country many people assume are most LGBT friendly;
- 25 cities received perfect scores (100 points) in 2013; 11 did in 2012;
- Of cities that scored 100, 8 cities came from states without comprehensive relationship recognition and without statewide non-discrimination laws (compared to two such cities in 2012);
- 31 million people live in cities where trans people are protected at the city level alone;
- In 2012 we rated 137 cities with a total population of 55,853,651; in 2013 we rated 291 cities with a population total of 77,851,822;
- 10% of cities scored over 96 points, 25% scored over 78 points. The average score was 57 points, half of cities scored over 60 points. 25% of cities scored 35 points or fewer; and 3.5% of cities scored 10 points or fewer.
- Cities tended to have higher scores where the city was selected for having a high proportion of same-sex couples, and the presence of openly LGBT city officials and LGBT police liaisons also tended to be correlated with higher scores.
This is the second edition of the Municipal Equality Index. To read the report or to see full-length, detailed scorecards for each city, please visit www.hrc.org/mei.
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