This year the Human Rights Campaign is celebrating 10 years of its Municipal Equality Index. The group calls their annual report “the nation’s premier benchmarking tool for municipal officials, policy makers and business leaders to understand how well cities across the nation are embodying LGBTQ+ inclusion in their laws, policies, and services.”
In a letter accompanying this year’s report Jodi Madison, HRC’s interim president, wrote that while this year’s index shows progress on LGBTQ inclusion and protections, it has also been a dangerous and dispiriting year for the community.
“While elected leaders at the federal level have made equality a priority, we’ve witnessed an unprecedented assault on LGBTQ+ rights in state legislatures,” Madison wrote. “Anti-equality state lawmakers have made attacking our trans and non-binary youth a priority.”
“These attacks jeopardize the rights and welfare of vulnerable young people — and they are putting lives directly at risk,” Madison wrote. “By further fueling anti-trans stigma, craven lawmakers are exacerbating the epidemic of violence targeting our community that particularly impacts Black trans women.”
North Carolina is among the states where progress has been balanced with broad, high-profile attacks on the community. A ban on new, local non-discrimination ordinances was lifted, leading more than a dozen city and county governments across the state to offer protections that haven’t been possible since 2016’s brutal fight over HB2. But Republican lawmakers filed bills to prevent transgender women from competing on women’s athletic teams and North Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson, a Republican, called books referencing the LGBTQ community “filth.” Top GOP lawmakers in the state and congressional delegation have declined to denounce his remarks while some have actually supported him.
But not everything in North Carolina is doom and gloom. Here’s a look at how the state has fared from HRC’s perspective:
The number of North Carolina cities rated in the index is ten. They are: Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem.
Here’s a list of those cities and towns, and their Mutual Equality Index (MEI) Scores:
Chapel Hill 100
This story appears courtesy of QNotes’ Media Partner NC Policy Watch.