Seattle’s Municipal Equality Index score

Why Seattle scored 100 out of 100 in the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.

Several Pride Parade participants unfurl a large rainbow flag on the streets of Capitol Hill in Seattle.

The Pride Parade is one of the year’s biggest events in Seattle.

Photo by Nate Gowdy

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.

Non-discrimination laws

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.

Law enforcement

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:

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.