MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota cities scored higher than the national average when it comes to inclusion for LGBTQ people in local law and policy, according to an annual report released Monday.
The 2017 Municipal Equality Index shows that the average inclusivity score for Minnesota cities is 68 out of 100, which is more than 10 points higher than the national average (57).
The cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul earned perfect scores on the index, which assesses 44 criteria ranging from nondiscrimination protections, services for LGBTQ people and the city government’s relationship to the LGBTQ community.
Eight Minnesota cities were scored in the index — Bloomington, Duluth, Eden Prairie, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Rochester, St. Cloud and St. Paul.
According to their city score sheets, the Minneapolis suburbs offer few-to-no services for LGBTQ people, lack LGBTQ liaison officers in their police departments and don’t have a public position on LGBTQ equality.
What all Minnesota cities do share are statewide nondiscrimination protections for housing, employment and accommodations.
The Municipal Equality Index scores 506 cities across all 50 states. The report is released through a partnership between by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the Equality Federation Institute.
The index’s authors say that despite the fractured political climate, cities across the country – including in Minnesota – are continuing to be more inclusive for LGTBQ people.
The index was first released in 2012. Next year, the report will examine whether or not youth in cities are protected from conversion therapy and will begin taking away points if religious exemption laws allow for discrimination against LGTBQ people.