Cleveland Gets Middling Score on LGBTQ Index, But Shows Signs of Improvement

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In its fifth annual Municipal Equality Index, the Human Rights Campaign gave Cleveland a score of 81 out of a possible 100 for LGBTQ inclusiveness, city employment and services, and city leadership's public positions on LGBTQ issues. 

And while 81 sounds okay, it's actually one of the lower scores of the eight Ohio cities rated by the Campaign. Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton all received scores of 100, for example. Toledo got an 89. Cleveland was in the bottom half, along with Akron (82), Lakewood (77), and the distant outlying Dublin (34), which doesn't even have non-discrimination laws for housing and public accommodations. Lakewood and Dublin, suburbs of Cleveland and Columbus, respectively, were newly rated in 2016. 

Cleveland lost its biggest points for not having an LGBTQ liaison or task force on the police department, not providing transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits to city employees and failing to have an LGBTQ liaison in the Mayor's office. 

Cleveland did manage to pick up some bonuses, two points each for having an enforcement mechanism in its Human Rights Commission, providing services to people living with HIV/AIDS, and having openly LGBTQ city leaders. It also received a two-point bonus for being a "welcoming place to work," a bonus it did not receive in 2015. 

All told, Cleveland's 81-point score is a three-point increase from 2015. The additional three points arrived in the form of bonuses. The core score of 73 remained unchanged.  

About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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