HRC Report Examines LGBT Equality in US Cities
The Human Rights Campaign released the first-ever nationwide evaluation of LGBT inclusivity in municipal laws and policies.
The Municipal Equality Index–or MEI–ranked 137 cities, including all 50 state capitals, the 50 most populated cities, as well as 25 large, medium, and small cities with the highest proportion of same-sex couples. Cathryn Oakley is HRC’s Legislative Counsel for State and Municipal Advocacy. She tells OutQ News that she’s pleased with the results and is looking forward to continuous growth for the MEI.
OAKLEY: The results generally are really exciting and so far the responses have been really positive. I think people are excited to be having these conversations and the people who are doing this work, I think, really deserve to be congratulated for all the hard work they are doing. I think the MEI is a really great way to highlight the work that’s being done in municipalities across the country.
Eleven cities–including Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York City–received a perfect score of 100, while a quarter of cities scored over 80 percent. Just under a fourth of cities scored less than 20 percent, with three receiving a score of zero.
The MEI rated the cities based on 47 criteria that fall under six broad categories including non-discrimination laws, relationship recognition, and the city’s employment practices. HRC President Chad Griffin responded to the findings by saying in a statement, “This index gives advocates and municipal lawmakers a potent tool to improve the lives of LGBT people.”