Some of Mississippi’s largest cities are not doing enough to promote gay and transgender equality. That’s according to a new report by the Human Rights Campaign.
The Municipal Equality Index is an annual report by the HRC that examines what cities around the nation are doing to promote Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender inclusive laws and policies.
“Unfortunately, I would say that the vast majority of the cities that we rated in Mississippi really did not do very well,” says Cathryn Oakley, the author of the 2016 MEI.
According to her, nine cities in Mississippi received an average score of 17 out of 100 points possible. That’s 38 points lower than the national average of 55.
“We want to make sure that everybody who lives in the city, works in the city, visits the city is able to spend their time in the city without fear of being discriminated against on the basis of their sexual identity or their gender identity,” says Oakley. “ That is not something that the vast majority of the cities that we rated in Mississippi have.”
However, Mississippi’s Capital City is making some progress.
“They passed a non-discrimination ordinance earlier this year that protects people from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, among other things,” “It’s a best practice ordinance, but it’s unique in Mississippi.”
The Human Rights Campaign began producing the Municipal Equality Index in 2012. This year more than 500 cities across the country were used in the report.