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Municipal Equality Index rates 506 cities on 49 different metrics

Route Fifty: “A record-breaking 78 cities received perfect scores on the 2018 Municipal Equality Index, a Human Rights Campaign ranking system that measures “LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law, policy and services.” “From San Antonio, Texas to Brookings, South Dakota—this year’s MEI again proves that there are no barriers to municipal LGBTQ equality for a city with dedicated, pro-equality elected officials,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “Forward-looking leaders across the U.S. are stepping up, protecting their youth from so-called ‘conversion therapy,’ increasing anti-bullying protections, ensuring transgender city employees have access to inclusive health care benefits and protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in all areas of life.” The index rates cities on 49 different criteria, including non-discrimination laws, employment tendencies, municipal services, law enforcement, and leadership’s public positions on equality. A perfect score totals 100, a grade given last year to 68 cities. This year’s index, the seventh, rates 506 cities, including all 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities in the country and the five largest municipalities in each state, among others. The 2018 index added several new benchmarks, including access for all genders to single-user public restrooms, protecting LGBTQ youth from bullying and if they have policies regarding conversion therapy, a largely discredited practice that attempts to stop people from being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The index also now deducts points for laws that include provisions that license discrimination against the LGBTQ community…” h/t Mary Whisner]

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