The Human Rights Campaign released the 2022 Municipal Equality Index, and Seattle is on the list. How did we score?
Each year, the Human Rights Campaign releases a Municipal Equality Index which takes a deep dive into municipal laws, policies, and services and how inclusive they are of LGBTQ+ people. This year’s edition examined 506 cities on 49 different criteria across five categories — non-discrimination laws, municipality as employer, services and programs, law enforcement, and leadership on LGBTQ+ equality.
Based on these criteria, Seattle earned a score of 100 out of 100. A perfect score. Here’s a breakdown of how we got here… and how we can go even further.
This category looks at whether LGBTQ+ discrimination is prohibited by law in areas of employment, housing, and public accommodation. Seattle achieved a 30 out of 30 for our laws across the state, county, and municipality, and received bonus points for single-occupancy all-gender facilities and protections against youth conversion therapy.
Municipality as employer
Cities can achieve points for inclusive employment policies like trans-inclusive healthcare policies and non-discrimination in city employment. Seattle got a 26 out of 28, but earned bonus points for city employee domestic partner benefits.
Services and programs
This section considers the city’s efforts to include LGBTQ+ folks in city services and programs. Seattle scored 12 out of 12, and got bonus points for city-offered services to the transgender community and LGBTQ+ youths and older adults.
Looking at the relationship between law enforcement and the LGBTQ+ community, Seattle earned 22 out of 22.
Leadership on LGBTQ+ equality
This section looks at city leadership’s commitment to advocacy and inclusion. Seattle got an 8 out of 8, and earned bonus points for having openly LGBTQ+ elected or appointed leaders.
Other studies like this
The HRC isn’t the only organization tracking Seattle’s inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community. Explore these locally conducted studies for comparison:
- UW Aging with Pride
- LGBTQIA+ Access to Health Care and the Impacts of COVID-19
- Building Resources for Transgender and Non-Binary Youth
Where we can improve
Even a perfect score doesn’t mean a perfect city. Seattle earned its perfect score with bonus points and would achieve a higher score from the HRC with a few extra efforts. For example, the city could offer services to LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness and those living with HIV or AIDS.
If you want to get involved, here are some local organizations that support the LGBTQ+ community.
How do you think we could make our community more welcoming to all? Let us know.