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Thursday, 26 October 2017 21:45

The 2017 Municipal Equality Index

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2017 municipal equality index 

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has released its annual report on municipalities and their laws, policies, and services for LGBT people. This sixth edition of the Municipal Equality Index focused on 506 US cities in all states with 44 different criteria. The results you will discover are comforting. Historical progress has taken place.

The results are very positive.

The HRC study shows that municipalities have realized that they can have their own LGBT-inclusive laws, policies, and services.

More and more cities are protecting their LGBT citizens against discrimination.

For example, Wheeling, West Virginia and Carlisle, Pennsylvania allow better inclusion and protection of LGBT people in private employment, housing, and public accommodations.

Historical progress has taken place in the southern United States.

Jackson became the first city in Mississippi to propose a non-discrimination ordinance for LGBT people while the state passed a "religious freedom" law. And Birmingham is the first city in Alabama to have approved a similar measure.

LGBT Liaison Officers in the municipal and departmental police increases communication between the LGBT community and police forces for better protection and fight against crime.

The Equality Municipal Index shows that cities in 36 states have improved their average and 3 held steady from 2016 to 2017:
  • +4 points for the cities in North Dakota, Delaware, Alaska, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio
  • +5 points for the cities in Florida, Kansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin
  • +7 for the cities in New Jersey and West Virginia
  • +8 for the cities in Iowa
  • +17 points for the cities in Alabama

And this is the first time that 68 cities reach the perfect score of 100 points.

Municipalities have made progress to protect their same-sex and transgender employees.

More cities improved health benefits for their trans employees:

  • 2017: 111 cities out of 506 (22%)
  • 2016: 86 cities out of 506 (17%)
  • 2012: 5 cities out of 137 (4%)

    2017 municipal equality index trans rights

The publication of this report on municipalities, their governments and LGBTQ-inclusive policies reassure us and continue to fuel our hope.

To see what's happening in your city, the 2017 Municipal Equality Index is available here:


Lezbelib is the online magazine that helps LGBTQ+ women to stay updated with entertaining blogs and breaking news about LGBT rights.