New survey finds more U.S. cities protecting LGBTQ rights

  • New survey finds more U.S. cities protecting LGBTQ rights

New survey finds more U.S. cities protecting LGBTQ rights

"This year, dozens of cities across the nation showed they are willing to stand up for LGBTQ people in their communities even when some state governments are not", HRC President Chad Griffin said. Charlottesville is ranked third in Virginia among the major localities.

The City of Sioux Falls is touting its improved score on the Human Rights Campaign's annual index of how cities treat their gay and transgender citizens.

Only Arlington and Alexandria are ranked higher.

Rights Commission; City provides services to LGBTQ youth, homeless, elderly and transgender communities; and Cities are pro-equality despite restrictive state law.

The Index examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies, and services are of the LGBTQ people who live and work there. Arlington earned a ideal score in the categories of non-discrimination laws and relationship with LGBTQ Community.

Eight U.S. cities scored zero points, including Wasilla, Alaska; Clemson, South Carolina and Sheridan, Wyoming. "This builds on a trend we have long observed: that local governments are at the forefront of our fight for equality".

MEI's criteria used to assess and rank USA cities include non-discrimination laws, employment policies, city services, law enforcement and municipal leadership on equality issues.

As a state, IN does not provide protections for LGBTQ individuals.

"Despite another year of legislative attacks on LGBTQ equality, we are not merely holding our ground; we also continue to make significant gains across the country", said Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director of the Equality Federation Institute.

The Utah Legislature almost two years ago passed a law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing and employment while also protecting religious rights.

Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton all posted ideal scores of 100.

Cities continue to excel even in the absence of state laws: 37 "All Star" cities in states lacking comprehensive non-discrimination laws scored above 85 points, up from 31 previous year, 15 in 2014, eight in 2013, and just two in 2012.

Knoxville's highest score came in the law enforcement category: The Knoxville Police Department, which reports hate crime statistics to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, also created a LGBT liaison position this year (as did mayor's office). Ten cities in MA made this year's list, with an average score of 85 out of 100-a full 30 points higher than the national average. The report also dropped the maximum amount of points available by one for elected or appointed LGBTQ officials.

Brooking had the highest score of South Dakota cities at 50 on the Index.