City Earns Perfect Score in 2019 LGBTQ Municipal Equality Index
For Immediate Release
November 22, 2019
Monique J. Damiano, Sr. Strategic Communications Specialist
(954) 828-5942 / email@example.com
City of Fort Lauderdale Earns Perfect Score in 2019 LGBTQ Municipal Equality Index
Fort Lauderdale, FL – The City of Fort Lauderdale received a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s 2019 Municipal Equality Index (MEI). The MEI assesses lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) inclusion in municipal laws, policies, and services nationwide. View Fort Lauderdale’s scorecard and the 2019 MEI full report.
The City of Fort Lauderdale joins 87 other cities across the U.S. that earned perfect scores, including five others in Florida – Miami Beach, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Wilton Manors.
“It is such a welcome accomplishment to receive a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for the City of Fort Lauderdale’s efforts to address issues critical to the LGBTQ community. It has been a long time coming and underscores the commitment myself and the rest of our City Commission has to that cause,” said Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean J. Trantalis. “We have become an amazingly diverse community, and this outstanding recognition is yet another sign of how inviting and inclusive our City is. We will continue working toward initiatives that ensure everyone that lives in, works in, or visits our city feels welcome, safe, accepted, and included regardless of race, color, religion, age, gender, gender identity, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other protected classification.”
The HRC scored the City on LGBTQ-focused activities in five categories – non-discrimination laws, municipality as employer, municipal services, law enforcement, and leadership on LGBTQ equality. Examples of City initiatives that contributed to the perfect MEI score include:
- Adopting Ordinance C-19-30, creating Chapter 29, “Human Relations,” of the City’s Code of Ordinance.
- Adopting Ordinance C-18-33, amending Section 2-187, “Non-discrimination by City contractors,” of the City’s Code of Ordinance.
- Developing an anti-bullying policy and reporting procedure to protect the dignity of youth served by the City’s Parks & Recreation Department.
- Offering domestic partner benefits including coverage for gender transition and gender reassignment surgery.
- Expanding the LGBTQ+ liaison unit in the Police Department from one to eight sworn and non-sworn personnel.
- Appointing City LGBTQ+ community and police liaisons.
- Reporting hate crime statistics to the Federal Bureau of Investigation annually.
- Offering LGBTQ+ Gender Diversity Training workshops for City employees in partnership with SunServe and the Community Foundation of Broward.
- Partnering with Broward County Public Schools to assist with LGBTQ+ student events, such as anti-bullying seminars, lunch and learn events, the annual LGBTQ+ Student Summit, etc.
- Partnering with local LGBTQ+ organizations on special events including the annual SunServe LGBTQ+ Youth Prom.
- Partnering with TransSOCIAL, Inc. to train local police LGBTQ+ liaison officers to teach the U.S. Department of Justice course, “Engaging and Building Relationships with Transgender Communities” to law enforcement officers in their respective agencies.
- Proclaiming June 2019 as LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
The 2019 MEI rated 506 cities including 50 state capitals, the 200 largest U.S. cities, the five largest cities or municipalities in each state, the cities home to the state’s two largest public universities, 75 municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples, and 98 cities selected by HRC and Equality Federation state group members and supporters. It assesses each city on 49 criteria covering citywide non-discrimination protections, policies for municipal employees, city services, law enforcement, and the city’s leadership on LGBTQ equality.