Municipal Equality Index scores cities on LGBT issues
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and The Equality Federation last week issued the 2017 version of the Municipal Equality Index (MEI). The MEI examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies, and services are of LGBT+ people who live and work there.
Cities are rated based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and the city leadership’s public position on equality.
In The Gayly’s region, only one city – Kansas City, Mo. – received a 100, the top possible score.
In Arkansas, the Northwest part of the state scored well, with Eureka Springs at 68 and Fayetteville at 67. Both cities have LGBT+ protections in their ordinances. They are fighting a state law that attempts to make those ordinances invalid. The capitol city, Little Rock, scored 45.
Wichita, Kansas’ largest city, scored 31. It received a significant boost from its police department liaison program. One of the highest scores in the state was Lawrence, with 74. Topeka, the capitol, received 35 points
In Missouri, in addition to Kansas City’s 100, St. Louis also received the top score. Springfield came in at 21. The state capitol, Jefferson City, received a 0.
In Oklahoma, Norman topped the list with 42, although the survey didn’t take note of the city’s affirmation of LGBT rights in December, 2015. If given credit for that, Norman’s score would have been higher. Tulsa received a score of 34, partially driven by the fact the city has a Human Rights Commission. Oklahoma City, the state capitol, scored 41.
In Texas, Amarillo scored 23.
To see coverage of previous year’s scores, visit:
HRC ranks cities on support for LGBT rights (2014)
HRC announces perfect scores for Municipal Equality Index (2015)
Most of the cities in the region that had higher scored received a significant boost because they report hate crime statistics to the FBI. That category alone is worth 12 points.
You can search the Municipal Equality Index online to get details of how your city’s rating was calculated.
Here are the scores of major cities in The Gayly’s region.
Eureka Springs – 68
Fayetteville – 67 (Up from 46 in 2013)
Ft. Smith – 20 (Up from 16 in 2013)
Little Rock – 45
Wichita – 31 (Up from 22 in 2013)
Topeka – 35
Lawrence – 74
Kansas City – 35
Kansas City – 100
Springfield – 21 (Down from 37 in 2013)
St. Louis – 100
Jefferson City - 0
Norman – 42
Oklahoma City – 41 (Up from 28 in 2013)
Tulsa – 34 (Down from 46 in 2013)
Amarillo – 23 (Up from 16 in 2013)
Copyright The Gayly – October 23, 2017 @ 10:25 a.m. CDT.