Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



HRC's 2023 survey of cities, towns shows record support for LGBTQ+ residents; Chicago scores 100
--From a press release

This article shared 1579 times since Thu Nov 16, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

WASHINGTON—The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), in partnership with the Equality Federation, an advocacy accelerator rooted in social justice that builds power in a network of state-based LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations, released the twelfth edition of the Municipal Equality Index (MEI), the only comprehensive nationwide assessment of LGBTQ+ equality in the areas of municipal policies, laws and services.

The 2023 MEI shows a record breaking 129 cities scoring the highest possible marks on the index—increasing the national average score—even in the face of state laws and policies that seek to shut transgender people and youth out of public life.

Chicago, Champaign and Rockford were the Illinois cities that garnered perfect scores. Aurora scored 94 and Naperville scored 92; Joliet scored the lowest of the state's municipalities surveyed, with a 65, although it wasn't far behind Springfield (72) and Peoria (74).

Earlier this year, HRC declared a first-in-its-history "National State of Emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans," citing the proliferation of hate against the LGBTQ+ community (particularly transgender people), legislative attacks on gender-affirming care, and growing numbers of extreme politicians fighting to turn back the clock on LGBTQ+ rights.

"Cities and towns around the country are stepping up each and every day, finding new and innovative ways to empower LGBTQ+ people in the face of a dire national state of emergency," said Kelley Robinson, President of the Human Rights Campaign. "Even when anti-LGBTQ+ extremists in state capitals are working to undermine their progress, mayors and city councilmembers keep fighting to make sure that LGBTQ+ people in their communities - especially trans people - are supported and lifted up to the fullest extent possible. This year's Municipal Equality Index shows the results of their dedication, while acknowledging the increasingly hostile environment in which they must govern."

Key findings from the 2023 Municipal Equality Index include:

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 30.3 million people live in cities that have more comprehensive, transgender-inclusive non-discrimination laws than their state.

A record breaking 129 cities, or more than 25 percent of all 506 surveyed cities and towns, earned the highest score of 100. This is up from 120 in the 2022 MEI.

However, for the first time in the history of the MEI, fewer cities are providing transgender-inclusive health benefits to municipal employees. State-level legislation has gravely impacted the enforceability and accessibility of these benefits.

42 cities, or about 20 percent of those which have offered trans-inclusive health care in the past, are unable to offer the same benefits to dependent minors due to superseding state law.

The national city score average jumped to an all-time high of 71 points, up from 69 points last year. This is the sixth consecutive year where the national average has increased, illustrating the deep commitment on the part of cities and towns to their LGBTQ+ employees and residents.

This score jump is because of progress made nationally, with every region of the country seeing a higher score than last year.

Only five cities surveyed scored zero points.

"As we see opponents of LGBTQ+ rights increasing their attacks on transgender youth in state legislatures, the importance of local-level protections cannot be overstated," said Fran Hutchins, Executive Director of Equality Federation Institute. "Local advocates and community leaders are finding new, creative ways to keep their communities safe, to let queer and trans people know they are loved and belong, no matter what discriminatory state laws are passed. I find inspiration in this year's Municipal Equality Index, as it shows the dedication of these advocates who continue to have difficult conversations to change hearts and minds in order to witness progress in their communities. We all benefit from their unwavering commitment to equality."

In 20 states across the country that lack explicit protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in their non-discrimination laws, 75 cities earned a score of at least 85 points, designating them as "All-Star Cities" - recognizing their outsized work to push back on overreaching state-level legislation.

This year's all-star cities include:

Alabama: Birmingham

Alaska: Juneau

Arizona: Chandler, Flagstaff, Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Tucson

Florida: Coral Gables, Ft. Lauderdale, Gainesville, Hollywood, Miami, Miami Shores, Oakland Park, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, Tampa, and Wilton Manors,

Georgia: Atlanta, Decatur, and Athens-Clarke County

Indiana: Terre Haute, Bloomington, and Evansville

Kansas: Lawrence, Overland Park, Topeka, and Wichita

Kentucky: Covington, Lexington, and Louisville

Louisiana: New Orleans

Missouri: St. Louis, Columbia, and Kansas City

Montana: Missoula

North Carolina: Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Carrboro

Ohio: Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbia, Dayton, Dublin, Lakewood, and Toledo

Oklahoma: Norman

Pennsylvania: Allentown, Carlisle, Erie, Harrisburg, New Hope, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, and State College

South Carolina: Myrtle Beach

South Dakota: Brookings

Texas: Dallas, Denton, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Arlington, and Austin

West Virginia: Charleston, Huntington, and Morgantown

Wyoming: Laramie

The Municipal Equality Index scores the 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities in the United States, the five largest cities or municipalities in each state, the cities home to the state's two largest public universities, 75 cities and municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples, and 98 cities selected by HRC and Equality Federation state groups, members, and supporters.

Even though local leaders continue to pave the way forward for equality, there remains an unacceptable patchwork of laws for LGBTQ+ people across the country. This reinforces the need for the federal Equality Act that would provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.

The full 2023 MEI report, including detailed scorecards for every city and a searchable score database, is available online at

This article shared 1579 times since Thu Nov 16, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

LGBTQ+ baseball executives announce cancer battles
Openly gay Major League Baseball (MLB) executive Billy Bean announced he has been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and that he needs a donor for a bone-marrow transplant, Gay City News noted. USA Today initially reported ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Dr. Rachel Levine, World AIDS Day, trans deaths, Philly bar art
United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama Liles C. Burke ruled that emails and other records from U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Rachel Levine are relevant to a lawsuit challenging Alabama's ban ...

Gay News

Wisconsin governor vetoes anti-trans youth healthcare ban
In an expected move, Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a bill that aimed to outlaw gender-affirming care for minors, CBS News reported. Evers has sworn to strike down any proposals from the GOP-controlled Wisconsin Legislature ...

Gay News

Lambda Legal, ACLU of Iowa file lawsuit against sweeping anti-LGBTQ law in Iowa
--From a press release - Last Tuesday, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit wit ACLU of Iowa and with co-counsel support from the law firm Jenner & Block LLP to block a sweeping law in Iowa (SF 496) that seeks to silence ...

Gay News

Trans actress, gay actors, 'Kokomo City' receive Spirit Award nominations
The nominations for the 39th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards have been announced—and LGBTQ+ actors, directors and productions definitely made their mark. Trans actress Trace Lysette was announced as one of the nominees for Best Lead ...

Gay News

MOVIES Director Daniel Peddle on the sequel to the classic doc 'The Aggressives'
In 2005, Daniel Peddle released The Aggressives—a groundbreaking documentary filmed during the late '90s and early '00s in New York City that profiled several masculine-presenting/transmasculine people of color. Fast-forward to ...

Gay News

Joli Angel Robinson tapped as new Center on Halsted head
Center on Halsted announced on Dec. 5 that Dallas-based advocate Joli Angel Robinson has been appointed as the Center's new chief executive officer. Robinson begins in the new role on Jan. 8, 2024. Robinson comes to ...

Gay News

ALMA Chicago holds second annual community reception
Association of Latinos/as/xs Motivating Action (ALMA) Chicago held its second annual community reception Nov. 30 at La Celia Latin Kitchen in Chicago's Avondale neighborhood. This free event introduced the inaugural ...

Gay News

WORLD Queer teen dies, trans activist honored, HIV drugs, mpox, British lesbian
In India, queer makeup artist Pranshu reportedly died by suicide—at age 16—after being subjected to relentless attacks online, PinkNews noted. On social media, LGBTQIA+-rights advocacy collective Yes, We Exist claimed ...

Gay News

'She was here...and she is here': Street to be renamed after Elise Malary
By Alec Karam - The memory of the late activist Elise Malary will soon become a permanent part of Andersonville's Catalpa Avenue. The renamed "Elise Malary Way" will encompass the Catalpa Plaza area, a planned pedestrian plaza between Ashland Avenue ...

Gay News

LGBTQ+ couple the first in South Asia to have marriage recognized
Transgender woman Maya Gurung and Surendra Pandey became the first LGBTQ+ couple to have their marriage legally recognized in South Asia after they received a legal certificate in Nepal's Lamjung district on Nov. 29, The Guardian ...

Gay News

Martina Navratilova continues anti-trans comments
Lesbian tennis legend Martina Navratilova has been in the news lately for anti-trans comments, although she has been making them for quite some time. She recently sparked controversy with her remarks on a tribute by UK ...

Gay News

Fla. students walk out after school board's anti-trans actions
In Florida, hundreds of students at Coconut Creek's Monarch High School held a walkout on Nov. 28 after their principal and several other school officials were reportedly reassigned over a transgender student's participation on the girls ...

Gay News

'When Black queer people win, everybody wins': Foundation releases report to improve equity at community orgs
In November, Lighthouse Foundation released its 2023 update on its research project, the Black Queer Equity Index, providing a guide that non-profit leaders can use to improve the experiences of marginalized employees and clients. Since 2020, ...

Gay News

Pope Francis's community of transwomen
It's a rare opportunity to meet the pope. It's even rarer if you're a transgender Catholic. However, on Nov. 19, in Torvaianica, Italy, a community of transwomen, many of them sex workers, were welcomed and seated ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.