WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the Equality Federation Institute have recently released their Municipal Equality Index that touts a record-setting national average for localities who continue to lead the way on equality, “even in times of national crisis and absent state and federal leadership,” the organizations said.

In its ninth annual reporting, 94 cities earned perfect scores.

“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 HRC President Alphonso David. “There is no question that the Trump administration made every effort to attack laws aimed to protect LGBTQ people, and our cities have responded with inclusivity and innovative public policy. Although there is newfound optimism sweeping the country with the incoming Biden-Harris administration, there is still work to be done and ground to make up. Adopting the measures outlined in the MEI will not only help cultivate more united and safe communities, but it will foster economic growth by signaling to residents, visitors and outside investors that their region is welcoming to all.”

The report contains two new issue briefs for policymakers: Addressing Systemic Racism Through Municipal Action, and another detailing the landmark Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia Supreme Court decision that explains why it is “imperative that localities continue enacting non-discrimination laws that explicitly include both sexual orientation and gender identity.” Additionally, the report includes HRC’s Pledge for Local Elected Leaders to End Violence Against Black and Brown Transgender Women.

Rankings for North Carolina are: Carrboro, 76; Cary, 0; Chapel Hill, 86; Charlotte, 62; Durham, 65; Fayetteville, 39; Greensboro, 79; Raleigh, 64; Wilmington, 29; and Winston-Salem, 54.

Rankings for South Carolina are: Charleston, 81; Clemson, 0; Columbia, 60; Greenville, 33; Mount Pleasant, 32; Myrtle Beach, 52; North Charleston, 40; and Rock Hill, 17.

info: hrc.org/mei.

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Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.