The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, has released its fourth annual report, which found Rochester earned a perfect score for LGBT equality, out of eight cities ranked in New York.
Rochester, Yonkers, and New York City each received perfect scores of 100 on HRC’s 2015 Municipal Equality Index (MEI), a scale which rates LGBT inclusion in municipal law and policy, including ratings for legal protections, non-discrimination policies, and benefits for LGBT workers.
“Across our country, cities and towns, both big and small, aren’t waiting for state or national leaders to move LGBT equality forward,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “Instead, these municipalities are taking action now, to improve the lives of countless LGBT Americans. In what has been an historic year for equality, a record-breaking number of municipalities this year have earned top scores in our Municipal Equality Index for their inclusive treatment of their LGBT citizens and workers. They are making a powerful statement that no one should have to wait for full equality – the time is now.”
Forty-seven cities received perfect scores on the MEI, out of 408 cities ranked on the index. That number is up from 38 cities in 2014, 25 in 2013, and 11 in 2012, the first year HRC conducted the MEI.
In addition, the average city score was 56 points, with half of the cities HRC researched scoring over 61 points.
“This year, an unprecedented wave of discriminatory legislation attempted to roll-back our efforts for LGBT equality,” Rebecca Isaacs, from the Equality Federation, stated. “Despite that challenge, over 20 towns and municipalities passed non-discrimination ordinances, some in the most unexpected places. These wins, along with historic LGBT visibility, speak to the tenacity of our advocates all across the country, many of whom donate their time to achieve fairness and equality. The MEI is an important tool for our movement that illustrates our successes, and the work ahead of us. We will not stop until all Americans have a fair opportunity to provide for themselves, and their families, free from the scourge of discrimination.”
View the full report online at www.hrc.org/mei.