Monday, October 8, 2018

After Coming Close the Past Two Years, San Antonio Wins a Perfect LGBTQ Equality Score

Posted By on Mon, Oct 8, 2018 at 3:36 PM

click to enlarge A participant marches in a recent San Antonio Pride Parade. - JPL PRO - JULIÁN P. LEDEZMA
  • JPL PRO - Julián P. Ledezma
  • A participant marches in a recent San Antonio Pride Parade.
San Antonio was one of 78 cities to score a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Council's annual Municipal Equality Index, which measures efforts to protect LGBTQ communities.

For the past two years, the Alamo City scored 95 on the index, which rates more than 500 cities on non-discrimination laws, treatment of LGBTQ employees, fair legal treatment and other factors.

Only three other Texas cities — Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth — had perfect scores. The national average was 58.

"Hitting 100 on the scorecard was a goal for my administration, and I am proud that San Antonio has made it," Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. "We have come a long way in recognizing human rights over the last few years, and I am determined to continue enhancing our equal rights efforts.”



Earlier this year, Nirenberg appointed a 15-member council to help advise him on policy affecting the LGBTQ community.

“From San Antonio, Texas to Brookings, South Dakota — this year’s MEI again proves that there are no barriers to municipal LGBTQ equality for a city with dedicated, pro-equality elected officials,” HRC President Chad Griffin said.

“Forward-looking leaders across the U.S. are stepping up, protecting their youth from so-called ‘conversion therapy,’ increasing anti-bullying protections, ensuring transgender city employees have access to inclusive health care benefits and protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in all areas of life.”

San Antonio ascent in HRC's
rankings stands in contrast to Texas' tarnished record on LGBTQ protections.

During the last legislative session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick fought a protracted crusade to bar transgender people from the bathrooms of their chosen gender. Nirenberg was among the local leaders who testified against the measure, which was also opposed by sports and business leaders.

And, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told the state's county clerks that they could refuse to grant marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Fortunately for the Alamo City, HRC's index doesn't punish municipalities for the cravenness of state leaders.

"The MEI was specifically designed to measure the laws and policies of the municipality, not the state," according to a note in the report. "While state law might add to a city's score, positive state law is not necessary for a city to score 100 points."

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