DE cities fall below the national average in advocating for LGBTQ rights, a recent study by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation has found. The average score is 55. The average score for cities in Kentucky is 52, according to HRC, which falls below the national average of 55. "That's why it's so important that we continue to not only fight for equality at the state and local levels, but to enact comprehensive federal protections for LGBTQ people under the Equality Act".
"Boston has been a leader in advancing LGBTQ rights at a local level, a fact reflected in its membership in this exceptional group of municipalities earning ideal scores every year since the inception of our Municipal Equality Index", HRC president Chad Griffin said in a release.
The index looks at 44 criteria under five broad categories for all cities: non-discrimination laws, municipal employment policies like transgender-inclusive insurance coverage and non-discrimination requirements for contractors, inclusiveness of city services, law enforcement and its reporting of hate crimes and municipal leaderships on matters of equality.
For the first time this year, the municipal equality index deducted points from the scores of cities that have non-discrimination protections containing carve-outs prohibiting individuals from using public facilities, such as restrooms, consistent with their gender identity.
Twenty states have non-discrimination laws that protect LGBTQ people in employment and 19 states have laws protecting them from discrimination in public accommodations. Arlington earned a flawless score in the categories of non-discrimination laws and relationship with LGBTQ Community.
But Knoxville earned zero out of a possible 30 points for having no laws forbidding discrimination in employment, housing or public accommodations based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
The organization announced Monday that Arlington received an overall score of 81 out of 100 in the MEI scorecard.
Griffin noted that Penfold and Kitchen spearheaded the City Council renaming 20 blocks of 900 South after pioneering gay leader Harvey Milk earlier this year. The report celebrates the success and progress as far as LGBTQ equality in local government, but it also points out the stark contrasts in equal rights from city to city and region to region.
Cities with a higher proportion of same-sex couples, as tabulated by a UCLA Williams Institute analysis of the 2010 U.S. Census, tended to score better.