Submitted by The City of Olympia
City Manager Steve Hall announced today that Olympia achieved a perfect 100 point rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2014 Municipal Equality Index. The HRC’s third annual report, released Wednesday, assesses LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) equality in 353 cities across the nation. According to HRC’s website, the average score was 59 points, with half of the researched cities scoring over 61 points. Thirty-two cities received the perfect 100 point score. This year, HRC rated 50 state capitals, the 150 largest cities in the United States, each state’s 3 largest cities, the city that is home to each state’s largest public university, and 75 municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples.
“Olympia has long been a local leader in LGBT rights and inclusion,” says City Manager Steve Hall. “I’m excited that our commitment is now recognized by the HRC.”
After last year’s less than desirable 67 rating, the Olympia City Council adopted a Resolution expressing Olympia’s continued commitment to be a “City that strives to be a welcoming and safe place for all employees and citizens.” The Resolution affirmed support for “the Human Rights Campaign’s important work and the City’s commitment to achieving the highest possible score on the Index.”
“I was disappointed with our rating last year,” says Hall. He appointed a staff committee to review the HRC’s criteria and Olympia’s policies, ordinances, and benefits related to LGBT employees and citizens. Hall continued, “We learned and improved based on input from the HRC. It’s gratifying that our effort is reflected in 2014’s 100 point rating.”
According to its website, the Human Rights Campaign is “the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. The HRC envisions a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.” In developing its annual report, HRC examines municipal laws, policies, and services and rates them on the basis of their inclusivity of LGBT people.