At­lanta nabs per­fect score in 2016 HRC Mu­nic­i­pal Equal­ity In­dex

GA Voice - - Newsbriefs -

The city of At­lanta scored a per­fect 100 on the Hu­man Rights Cam­paign’s 2016 Mu­nic­i­pal Equal­ity In­dex (MEI) de­spite hail­ing from a state with­out LGBT-in­clu­sive statewide non-dis­crim­i­na­tion laws.

The city there­fore earned one of HRC’s 37 MEI “All Star” des­ig­na­tions, which rec­og­nizes cities na­tion­wide ex­celling by ad­vanc­ing LGBT equal­ity with­out re­ly­ing on state law. At­lanta also earned a per­fect score in last year’s rank­ings.

Cities are graded based on five fac­tors: non-dis­crim­i­na­tion laws, mu­nic­i­pal­ity as an em­ployer, mu­nic­i­pal ser­vices, law en­force­ment, and re­la­tion­ship with the LGBT com­mu­nity.

“This year, dozens of cities across the na­tion showed they are will­ing to stand up for LGBTQ peo­ple in their com­mu­ni­ties even when some state gov­ern­ments are not,” said HRC Pres­i­dent Chad Grif­fin in a state­ment. “This builds on a trend we have long ob­served: that lo­cal gov­ern­ments are at the fore­front of our fight for equal­ity. Un­for­tu­nately, our op­po­nents have wit­nessed this progress too, and in re­cent years, anti-LGBTQ law­mak­ers have pushed spite­ful leg­is­la­tion aimed at pre-empt­ing lo­cal pro­tec­tions. That’s why it’s so im­por­tant that we con­tinue to not only fight for equal­ity at the state and lo­cal lev­els, but to en­act com­pre­hen­sive fed­eral pro­tec­tions for LGBTQ peo­ple un­der the Equal­ity Act.”

The av­er­age score for cities in Ge­or­gia is 32 out of 100 points, which falls well be­low the na­tional av­er­age of 55. Other Ge­or­gia cities graded in­cluded Athens (21), Au­gusta-Rich­mond (12), Avon­dale Es­tates (41), Colum­bus (38), De­catur (21), North Druid Hills (12), Roswell (11), Sandy Springs (22), and Sa­van­nah (44).

Study: 11,000 trans­gen­der Ge­or­gia vot­ers could be dis­en­fran­chised

At­lanta Mayor Kasim Reed (back right) and other City of At­lanta em­ploy­ees par­tic­i­pate in the 2016 At­lanta Pride pa­rade. (File photo)

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