The Human Rights Campaign just released their Municipal Equality Index for 2016 and the results are pretty amazing. This report looks at all 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities overall, the five largest cities in each state, and the cities which are home to the two largest universities in each state. The report assigns them scores based on how well those cities treat the LGBTQ+ community. Back in 2012, only 11 cities in the country had perfect scores, but this year there are 60 cities with perfect scores.
That’s pretty impressive considering how much push back there has been against the community this year. 2016 has been rough, with states like North Carolina introducing legislation that would force people into using the bathroom that correlates to the gender they were assigned at birth. That puts trans peoples’ lives at risk, but it seems that America is finally taking a stand against civil rights violations such as these.
But while some state governments refuse to acknowledge these human rights violations, local governments are taking a different approach by working harder to ensure that citizens are treated equally. Of course, you could also take a pessimistic view of the report, since those 60 cities with perfect scores are out of 506 total cities. But on the bright side, only 8 of them had a score of 0. Times are definitely changing, and they’re changing rather quickly.
Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go towards getting municipalities to take the steps needed to protect and serve the LGBTQ+ community. There is a lot of momentum to get us there, and the report shows that even if things go to pot over the next four years, some municipalities are going to stand up for the community, even if their state, or federal government, won’t.