Orlando ranks as one of top Florida cities for LGBTQ equality

Lester Mason
October 20, 2017

"We applaud the town of Carrboro for taking positive steps and increasing their municipal equality index score by nearly 25 percent in just one year", said Equality NC Interim Executive Director Matt Hirschy.

The City of Orlando scored a ideal 100 for the fourth year in a row on the Human Rights Campaign's annual Municipal Equality Index, which measured LGBTQ equality and inclusion in local policies in 506 cities across the nation.

The average score for cities in North Carolina was 53, which was below the national average of 57. Concord, Manchester and Rochester all tied at 39, while Plymouth (33) and Nashua (28) brought up the rear.

HRC President Chad Griffin said the MEI is an important economic tool for businesses and governments alike.

The HRC said that legal protections and benefits for LGBTQ Americans vary widely depending on location because states and cities have markedly different laws governing discrimination. "It also serves as a key tool for business leaders who are looking for welcoming cities to relocate or expand their businesses". 20 states have non-discrimination laws that include protections for LGBTQ people in employment, and 19 states have laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in places of public accommodation. HRC asserts that LGBTQ inclusion in local laws and policies show that cities across the country are taking the lead in protecting queer and transgender people as LGBTQ rights are attacked by federal and state officials. CEOs know that in order to attract and retain the best employees, they must grow their companies in places that protect LGBTQ citizens from discrimination and actively open their doors to all communities. The survey looked at things like local non-discrimination laws, providing transgender-inclusive health benefits for city employees and offering LGBTQ-inclusive city services.

State representative Merika Coleman said the ordinance sets an example that other Alabama cities can follow. That's up from 60 last year, and just 11 in 2012, the first year the MEI was released. 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.

Eleven cities across the USA scored a zero - out of 100 - on the sixth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI), which evaluates municipalities based on the level of LGBTQ inclusion found in their municipal laws, policies and services.

Starting in 2018, new criteria will be added, including protecting youth from conversion therapy, and points will be deducted for religious exemptions to LGBT anti-discrimination laws.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article