GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, in partnership with the Equality Federation, has reported that Greensboro, N.C. is in the number one spot in North Carolina for LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policy with a score of 80 points. The total number of cities rated numbered 506 from across the nation.
In its fifth edition, the “Municipal Equality Index,” uses a rating system based upon a 100-point scale and shows that cities across the country, including in North Carolina, continue to take the lead in supporting LGBTQ people and workers, even when states and the federal government have not, HRC said.
Other cities in the state include: Charlotte (73), Durham (69), Chapel Hill (68), Raleigh (59), Carrboro (57), Winston-Salem (44), Fayetteville (23), Wilmington (21) and Cary (18). The average score for cities in North Carolina is 51, which falls below the national average of 55.
“In the wake of HB2 and terrible state legislative overreach, it’s more important now than ever for strong municipal leadership to pave the way for LGBT rights,” said Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality North Carolina. “While Charlotte and other pro-LGBT leaders were attacked by the legislature, they are moving the ball forward on non-discrimination protections.”
HRC said that two special reports are also included in the 2016 index: “Power Struggles and Preemption” details efforts by anti-equality officials at the state level to pass discriminatory legislation like North Carolina’s HB2 law that strip municipalities of their ability to protect their residents and workers with non-discrimination measures. “Inclusive and Innovative Approaches to Citywide Bullying Prevention” lays out the serious public health issue of bullying, how it disproportionately affects LGBTQ youth, and innovative ways municipalities can protect its young people from bullying. The 2018 index will change the way it assesses anti-bullying issues, as described in the brief, HRC added.
Another brief included in the index is “Transgender-Inclusive Health Benefits.” “Progress on transgender equality has been particularly noteworthy in cities across America this year, continuing a positive trend that the index has tracked,” HRC shared. “Transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits are offered to employees of 86 municipalities this year up from 66 in 2015 and five in 2012 and the growth of cities offering those benefits to their employees outpaces the growth in the number of cities rated.”
To read the full report, visit HRC’s website.