Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, in partnership with The Equality Federation, released its 11th annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI), the only nationwide assessment of LGBTQ+ equality regarding municipal policies, laws, and services.
506 cities across the nation were scored, including eight in Ohio.
Six of those Ohio municipalities received perfect scores, and seven received “All-Star designation” given to cities receiving at least 85 points despite hailing from a state without statewide non-discrimination statutes that explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity:
- Akron: 100 (All-Star designation)
- Cincinnati: 100 (All-Star designation)
- Cleveland: 100 (All-Star designation)
- Columbus: 100 (All-Star designation)
- Dayton: 100 (All-Star designation)
- Dublin: 100 (All-Star designation)
- Lakewood: 81
- Toledo: 94 (All-Star designation)
The average score for cities in Ohio is 97 out of 100 points, which falls above the national average of 68.
Of particular note, Dublin, Ohio was hailed as a “success story.” The Columbus suburb’s perfect rating is an astounding increase from their failing grade of 45 in 2021. Shortly after the MEI was published last year, Dublin passed fully-inclusive LGBTQ+ non-discrimination protections causing their score to skyrocket.
“Equality Ohio applauds the action city leaders and local communities have taken together in the face of inaction at the state level in Ohio,” said Alana Jochum, Executive Director for Equality Ohio. “Cities like Akron, Cleveland, and Dublin, Ohio–among others–continue to remind us that there is more support for LGBTQ+ inclusive laws than the statehouse wants us to think there is. Because of electeds and leaders at the local level, we are paving the path towards legal and lived equality across the state.”
This year, a record-breaking 120 cities earned the highest score of 100, which is up from 11 in 2012, the MEI’s inaugural year, illustrating the striking advancements municipalities have made over the past 11 years.
The report also contains issue briefs for policymakers that covers how cities can support transgender individuals with healthcare protections, as well as an issue brief that highlights the reality that abortion rights also affects the LGBTQ+ community and that city governments do have the power to implement LGBTQ+ inclusive abortion rights. 🔥
- Share the report to raise awareness of how Ohio is doing with regards to LGBTQ+ equality.
- Is your city on the list? No? Share this with your local legislators to provide a blueprint on how you can move forward to make your city the best place it can be for the LGBTQ+ community.