In partnership with the Equality Federation Institute, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has announced that Bloomington has again been awarded a perfect score on the annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI). The index of 506 cities nationwide uses 49 criteria to evaluate how inclusive a city’s laws, policies, and services are of the LGBTQ+ people who live and work there. Bloomington was one of only 94 cities in the U.S. to earn a perfect score this year, up from 88 last year and just 11 in 2012 and, as in last year’s index, was the only city in Indiana to do so. Bloomington’s scorecard is available here.
The 2020 MEI rating marks the sixth consecutive year that Bloomington has been recognized with a perfect score. The full 2020 Municipal Equality Index Report is available here.
“It’s great to see Bloomington recognized again for our record of supporting and protecting our LGBTQ+ residents and visitors,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “I am grateful to our partners in the community and at the university and to our Human Rights Commission and the many City departments that work hard daily to eliminate discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identify, and to foster ever greater inclusion and equity in Bloomington.”
The MEI score is determined by a city’s record in five categories: non-discrimination laws, municipal employment policies and services, city services and programs, law enforcement, and leadership on LGBTQ+ equality. Bloomington’s scorecard highlights a variety of City initiatives that include, support, engage, and protect LGBTQ+ individuals, including the following:
“2020 has been a difficult year for social justice issues across the spectrum. Bloomington remains committed to progress in all areas of diversity and inclusion, and the MEI score shows we are on the right path,” said Human Rights Commission Director and Assistant City Attorney Barbara McKinney.
Established in 1980, the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign is the largest advocacy group working to achieve civil rights for LGBTQ+ individuals in the United States. The HRC began evaluating cities using the MEI in 2012.