The Human Rights Campaign last week released its second-ever Municipal Equality Index, a guide that rates cities across the country based on how they treat LGBT citizens.
It’s important to consider LGBT-inclusive laws and policies at the local level because these can often offer rights and protections even when state or federal laws do not. HRC’s guide took data from 291 municipalities in all 50 states, including “the 50 state capitals, the 150 most populous cities in the country, the three largest cities in every state, the city home to each state’s largest public university, and the 25 large, 25 mid-size, and 25 small municipalities with the highest proportion of same-sex couples.”
The criteria for ratings came from six broad categories: non-discrimination laws, relationship recognition, employment and contracting policies, inclusiveness of city services, law enforcement and leadership on matters of equality. Here’s a quick look at some of the data they found, taken from the press release:
- 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;
- 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.
As problematic as HRC can be, it’s incredibly helpful to have data like this available to us, especially those of us who move around a lot and want to get the lowdown on the different places we might end up for school, work, etc. Check out the full report and see how your city did.
“Fewer black women in the United States are being infected with HIV, but the number of young gay and bisexual men infected is rising, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.”
A new government poll of citizens of the United Kingdom found less than half support same-sex marriage and only a third support adoption by gay couples.
Gay couples have been allowed to adopt children in the U.K. for nine years. In addition, the government is considering changing its civil partnership laws to allow gay couples in civil partnerships to call themselves married. From the Daily Mail:
Lib Dem Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said last week that to deny marriage to same-sex couples was ‘simply not fair’.
But the ONS findings show many Britons still cling to conservative values and suggest Miss Featherstone’s claim that the UK is ‘a world leader in gay rights’ only applies to a minority of the population.
The report, based on sources including the annual British Social Attitudes survey and research by the EU’s Eurobarometer research arm, said only 45 per cent of British people agree that ‘homosexual marriages should be allowed throughout Europe’.
U.K. readers, I’m looking at you: what do we do to change this?
If you guessed Provincetown, Mass., you’re right. At least for now.
A Williams Institute analysis found that Provincetown has 163 same-sex couples per 1,000 households, more than any other city of those studied. The analysis just released information on Massachusetts, Florida, Michigan, South Carolina and DC, with more to be published soon.
Check the Advocate.com article for more specific information on other cities and states - you’ll find all the numbers you need there.