The City of Huntington has received a perfect score from the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization for creating an inclusive community for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The Human Rights Campaign on Tuesday released its 2019 Municipal Equality Index, which ranked 506 U.S. cities of varying sizes on several factors, including nondiscrimination laws, municipal employment policies, inclusiveness of city services, law enforcement with regard to LGBTQ persons and municipal leadership on matters of equality.
Huntington received a perfect score of 100 on a 100-point scale and, for the fourth consecutive year, tallied the highest score among cities that were evaluated in West Virginia. Only 88 cities received a perfect score. The nationwide average was 60.
Charleston (91), Wheeling (57), Charles Town (45), Lewisburg (43), Morgantown (75), and Parkersburg (13) were also included in the report.
Huntington also for the third consecutive year was designated as an “All-Star” city for scoring above 85 points despite hailing from a state without LGBTQ-inclusive statewide non-discrimination laws. Across the country, 59 cities like these set a standard of LGBTQ inclusiveness with exemplary, best-practice policies such as local non-discrimination laws, providing transgender-inclusive health benefits for city employees and offering LGBTQ-inclusive city services.
“Receiving a perfect score in the 2019 Municipal Equality Index validates what our community already knows -- that Huntington is a city of honor, respect and compassion,” Mayor Steve Williams said. “And while we have made strides to become more inclusive in Huntington, our work is not done.
“We are organizing our community so that every person has a distinct and vested responsibility to advance our city’s prosperity. Our vision is that we embrace our diversity and actively seek inclusiveness as we learn to stand as one people celebrating our differences. We will be able to shape our future by assuring every person in our city has a seat at the table and has a voice to be heard.”
The full report, including detailed scorecards for every city and a searchable database, is available online at https://www.hrc.org/mei.
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