Tuesday, November 19, 2019

State of LGBTQ Equality in Eight Colorado Cities Detailed in HRC’s 8th Edition of the Municipal Equality Index

Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute, released its eighth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI), assessing LGBTQ equality in 506 cities across the nation, including eight in Colorado.

The Municipal Equality Index, the only nationwide assessment of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policy, shows that cities across the country, including in Colorado, continue to take the lead in supporting LGBTQ people and workers — even in the face of renewed attacks this year on the LGBTQ community by federal and state officials.

The average score for cities in Colorado is 74 out of 100 points, which falls above the national average of 60. 


Aspen
Colorado
62
Aurora
Colorado
72
Boulder
Colorado
96
Colorado Springs
Colorado
60
Denver
Colorado
100
Fort Collins
Colorado
95
Lakewood
Colorado
58
Littleton
Colorado
5

“These inclusive and welcoming cities are standing up to the unrelenting attacks on the LGBTQ community by the Trump-Pence administration, and sending a clear message that the fair and equal treatment of our community, our families and our neighbors is a true American value,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “This year’s Municipal Equality Index shows that across the country, city leaders are working tirelessly to ensure that their constituents can secure housing, make a living and participate in community life without being discriminated against because of who they are. And the people overwhelmingly agree with these leaders: support for non-discrimination protections to protect LGBTQ people topped 70 percent, which includes a majority of Democrats, Republicans and Independents. These policies are not only the right thing to do, but they are also critical in driving economic success by attracting residents, visitors and businesses that place a high value on inclusivity.”

“This report on LGBTQ equality at the local level couldn’t be more timely. There are critical decisions being made about our lives at the Supreme Court, in the federal administration and state and local legislative bodies. If they listen to the millions of Americans represented in this report the answer should be simple: we need protections for LGBTQ people now,” said Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director of Equality Federation Institute. “We are proud to partner with HRC on the Municipal Equality Index. It is a powerful tool for elected officials and community leaders to use as they advocate for equality. This marks the third year in a row that the national city score average increased, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that number continues to grow. It’s time for leaders at every level to take a stand and demand that no one be treated differently because of who they are, where they live or who they love.”

This year’s report also includes two new issue briefs for policymakers: Achieving a Healthier, Stronger Workforce through Inclusive Paid Leave and Expanding PrEP Access to Help End the HIV Epidemic.

Since the MEI’s debut in 2012, the number of cities earning the highest score has increased by more than eightfold, and today at least 25 million people live in cities that have more comprehensive, transgender-inclusive non-discrimination laws than their state.

Progress on transgender equality has been particularly noteworthy in cities across the U.S. this year, continuing a positive trend that the MEI has tracked — and encouraged — since 2012. Transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits are offered to employees of 164 municipalities this year — up from 147 in 2018, 111 in 2017 and just five in 2012. The MEI’s Issue Brief on Transgender-Inclusive Health Benefits is available here.

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