The Human Rights Campaign 2019 Municipal Equality Index launches in State College
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization has recently launched its national 2019 Municipal Equality Index (MEI) in State College, Pennsylvania, at a press conference on Tuesday, November 19, 2020 ET in the City Council Chambers. Articles regarding the event can be found at StateCollege.com and WPSU, as well as the live-streamed press release.
The MEI is the only nationwide assessment of LGBTQ inclusiveness in municipal laws, policies and services. State College was chosen for the MEI launch because it achieved a high score (100), despite being located in a state without fully-inclusive LGBTQ non-discrimination protections.
Cities rated in the MEI are assessed on their LGBTQ-inclusive laws and policies, including non-discrimination laws; municipal employment policies, including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage and non-discrimination requirements for contractors; inclusiveness of city services; law enforcement, including hate crimes reporting; and municipal leadership on matters of equality. Borja Gutiérrez, an Assistant Teaching Professor of Spanish, is the Vice Chair of State College’s Advisory Committee on LGBTQ Matters in this organization. He worked with State College Borough Manager and former Mayor Goreham when he was the 2016-2018 Chair of the President's Commission on LGBTQ Equity to establish the Borough of State College's LGBTQ Advisory Board, which worked on many of the policies, laws and services that garnered State College's high score.