The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released their ninth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI) this week, the only nationwide assessment of LGBTQ+ equality regarding municipal policy, law and services.
This year, a record-breaking 94 cities earned the highest score, which is up from 88 cities in 2019 and 11 in 2012, the first year of the MEI.
“The results of this year’s Municipality Equality Index show definitive evidence that our local leaders across the nation are standing up for equality – even as they faced headwinds from state governments or the Trump-Pence administration,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David.
This year’s index ranked 8 cities in Ohio.
Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Dayton all received perfect scores of 100, the highest possible number that can be achieved. Akron was one point off with a final score of 99, Toledo came in at 98, and Lakewood scored an 87.
While the fight for full equality continues, for the 3rd year in a row, the @CityofCleveland received a 100% score on the @HRC Municipal Equality Index. An inclusive community where all are welcome is critical for equitable growth & prosperity #AllWelcome @LGBTCleveland @HRC_OH pic.twitter.com/xMsMMx6iTN
— Kerry McCormack (@KerryMcCormack1) December 3, 2020
These 7 cities join 54 others across the country that earned at least 85 points despite hailing from a state without non-discrimination statutes that explicitly protect sexual orientation and gender identity. 32 localities in Ohio have passed comprehensive, LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination protections, even as the long-proposed Ohio Fairness Act currently sits in committee.
Dublin, Ohio received a 44 out of 100 on the Index. Though the 18th biggest city in Ohio received a perfect score in the category of “Municipality as Employer”—offering protections in city employment, trans-inclusive healthcare benefits, and a city contractor non-discrimination ordinance—Dublin lacks non-discrimination laws for the community at large, which largely resulted in their low score.