A report from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) shows that cities continue to lead the way on equality, even in times of national crisis and absent state and federal leadership.
The organization's Municipal Equality Index (MEI) revealed that a record-breaking 94 cities earned the highest scoreup from 88 cities in 2019 and 11 in 2012, the first year of the index. In 19 states, 61 cities earned higher than 85 points despite hailing from states without non-discrimination statutes that explicitly protect sexual orientation and gender identity. Twelve cities received a score of zero.
Also, every region of the country saw a mean city score increase this year, with the exception of the New England region, which maintained its 2019 average.
Regarding Illinois, only Chicago received a perfect score. Other cities that were evaluated included Aurora (83 points), Carbondale (49), Champaign (84), Joliet (65), Naperville (70), Peoria (74), Rockford (81) and Springfield (68).
Cities were evaluated in five areas: non-discrimination laws, municipality as employer, municipal services, law enforcement and leadership on LGBTQ equality.
The report contains two new issue briefs for policymakers: Addressing Systemic Racism Through Municipal Action, and another detailing the landmark Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia Supreme Court decision that explains why its imperative that localities continue enacting non-discrimination laws that explicitly include both sexual orientation and gender identity. Additionally, the report includes HRC's Pledge for Local Elected Leaders to End Violence Against Black and Brown Transgender Women.
See www.hrc.org/mei .