For the second consecutive year, the civil rights organization known as Human Rights Campaign has released its Municipal Equality Index (MEI). This index indicates the different ways that major cities are serving the cause of eliminating sexual orientation discrimination and ways in which they can better promote this goal throughout a given city’s workplaces, government and general culture. Human Rights Campaign evaluated Los Angeles in addition to 290 other American cities from across the nation.
Each city was evaluated in six separate categories. These categories are: Non-discrimination laws, relationship recognition, municipality as employer, municipal services, law enforcement and relationship with the LGBT community. Each category boasts several sub-categories that are each worth various possible points. For example, under the “Non-Discrimination Laws” category, a sub-category worth one-third of the points for the overall category is “Employment.” If the city’s employment non-discrimination laws adequately protect the LGBT community from discrimination, the city is awarded full points. Inadequate protections lead to lower point scores.
In all, a city may receive up to 100 points on the MEI scale. Los Angeles scored a perfect 100 points. Given that only 10 percent of MEI cities scored over 96 points on the scale, this achievement is something that Los Angeles can certainly be proud of. Work-related discrimination still exists within the city. However, law enforcement, legal protections and other mechanisms are certainly on the side of Los Angelinos who have been discriminated against, according to the latest MEI score. This can give LGBT community members who are experiencing discrimination at work reason to hope that the city’s law and culture are on their side.
Source: Human Rights Campaign, “MEI 2013: See Your City’s Score,” Dec. 2013