Posts tagged with "bisexual"

360 Magazine, LA PRIDE 50th Anniversary

H&M × Banana Republic × UN Free Supports Global LGBTI Equality

The United Nations Foundation announced today that top global brands H&M and Banana Republic are once again partnering with UN Free & Equal for Pride Month this June to raise awareness and funds in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) equality worldwide. H&M will donate $100,000 to the global campaign this year, while Banana Republic will donate $60,000 this Pride Month.

“Pride connects directly to our core values and encapsulates our social vision to enable everyone at H&M and beyond to live the life they want, express who they are and to be the best of themselves”, says Pascal Brun, Global Sustainability Manager, H&M.

Both H&M and Banana Republic have long supported UN Free & Equal, a global campaign of the United Nations Human Rights Office that strives to advance equal rights and fair treatment for LGBTI people around the world. With this year’s contributions, H&M has now donated a total of $850,000, while Banana Republic has donated $240,000 to date through partnerships with UN Free & Equal.

“Inclusion has always been part of Banana Republic’s DNA and we are proud to partner with UN Free & Equal again this year to support their mission for LGBTI equality and human rights,” said Ana Andjelic, CBO of Banana Republic. “The past year has shown it is more important than ever to fight for equality and celebrate opportunity for all.”

Pride celebrations this year are taking place against the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – a global crisis that has further exposed and exacerbated inequities and underscored the urgency of protecting the rights of LGBTI people.

“Every person – no matter who they are, where they live, or whom they love – deserves to live freely and authentically with full equality,” said Elizabeth Cousens, President & CEO of the UN Foundation. “The UN Foundation is proud to support UN Free & Equal in the fight for global LGBTI equality, and is grateful to both H&M and Banana Republic for their continued partnership.”

Now in its eighth year, the UN Free & Equal campaign aims to win respect, recognition, and acceptance for the human rights of LGBTI people around the world. The campaign reaches parents, students, teachers, journalists, and policymakers, especially in countries where LGBTI communities face hostility and hardship and aims to cultivate new allies in the fight for equality. It has campaigned in more than 30 countries so far, with 12 full-scale national campaigns currently active.

“LGBTI people remain among those who are most often left behind due to exclusion, discrimination and violence, and this has been further exacerbated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Young LGBTI people in particular face disproportionate levels of family rejection, bullying online and offline, homelessness and restrictions on access to information,” said Michael van Gelderen, LGBTI lead at UN Human Rights.

In support of LGBTI youth, UN Free & Equal recently launched a campaign with the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth calling on allies to support young LGBTI people in creating a fearless future where all young people are safe, loved and empowered to thrive – regardless of who they are or whom they love. The campaign, which is made possible by the generous support of corporate and Government donors, kicked off on May 17, the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia and will run through International Youth Day on August 12.

To learn more about the UN Free & Equal campaign, visit here.

About H&M
H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) was founded in Sweden in 1947 and is quoted on Nasdaq Stockholm. H&M’s business idea is to offer fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way. In addition to H&M, the group includes the brands COS, Monki, Weekday, & Other Stories, H&M HOME and ARKET as well as Afound. The H&M group has 53 online markets and approximately 4,950 stores in 74 markets including franchise markets. In 2020, net sales were SEK 187 billion. The number of employees amounts to approximately 153,000. For further information, visit here.

About Banana Republic
Banana Republic is a global apparel and accessories brand committed to building a better tomorrow for people and the planet. Designed with purpose for those who share a passion for life with no boundaries, Banana Republic is redefining luxury by using the finest materials with the latest fabric innovations to create timeless, modern, and versatile clothing, eyewear, jewelry, shoes, handbags, and fragrances. Founded in 1978 in San Francisco, Banana Republic connects with customers online and in company-operated and franchise retail locations globally. For more information, please visit here.

About United Nations Foundation
The UN Foundation is an independent charitable organization created to be a strategic partner for the United Nations to address humanity’s greatest challenges, build initiatives across sectors to solve problems at scale, and drive global progress. Learn more here.

About UN Free & Equal
The UN Free & Equal campaign is an unprecedented global public information campaign aimed at promoting equal rights and fair treatment of LGBTI people. It was launched by the United Nations Human Rights Office in July 2013 and has since reached hundreds of millions of people globally through traditional and social media as well as generated a stream of widely shared materials – including powerful videos, impactful graphics and plain-language fact sheets. For more information please visit here.

LGBTQ Illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Opposing Anti-LGBTQ Legislations

Major Health, Education, and Child Welfare Organizations Oppose Anti-LGBTQ State-Based Legislation

 

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the nation’s leading child health and welfare groups representing more than 7 million youth-serving professionals and more than 1000 child welfare organizations released an open letter calling for lawmakers in states across the country to oppose dozens of bills that target LGBTQ people, and transgender children in particular. In too many states, lawmakers are focusing on passing bills that attack our nation’s most vulnerable, instead of focusing on how to help the American people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The signers note: “As organizations committed to serving the best interests of all youth, we are deeply alarmed at the torrent of bills introduced in state legislatures around the country this year that would directly harm transgender people and particularly transgender youth. These appalling proposals would compromise the safety and well-­being of the young people we all have the duty and obligation to support and protect. All of our nation’s children deserve equal protection and treatment when accessing health care, and when attending school. These anti-­transgender bills promote discrimination and do harm to students, their families, and their communities.”

“While states should be focusing on finding ways to ensure that every young person has a chance to succeed, we are instead seeing a majority of states introducing harmful legislation that excludes, discriminates against, and outright harms transgender youth who are simply trying to navigate their adolescence,” said Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David“Anti-transgender sports bills are in search of a problem that does not exist and just the latest iteration of a years-long losing fight against equality.  In fact, anti-equality legislators when challenged are unable to name any instances of alleged cheating in their states to gain a competitive edge. That is because there are none. The notion is preposterous, nonsensical, and impractical. Other legislation is attempting to deny medically necessary gender-affirming care that helps to mitigate the life-threatening anxiety, depression, and dysphoria that are disproportionately experienced by transgender youth. Amidst an epidemic of fatal violence against transgender people, it is imperative that we do everything in our power to foster a more inclusive, less discriminatory society that guarantees acceptance of and equality to all. I thank every child health and welfare organization for stepping up and speaking out against the anti-transgender legislation that would have a profound effect on our young people.”

As organizations committed to serving the best interests of all youth, we are deeply alarmed at the torrent of bills introduced in state legislatures and in Congress this year that would directly harm transgender people and particularly transgender youth.  These appalling proposals would compromise the safety and well-being of the young people we all have the duty and obligation to support and protect.

All of our nation’s young people deserve equal protection and treatment when accessing health care, and when attending school and participating in extracurricular activities, including sports. These anti-transgender bills promote discrimination and do harm to students, their families, and their communities.

Since state legislatures began meeting this year, we have already seen more than 65 bills introduced seeking to deny transgender youths’ access to gender-affirming medical treatment, preventing them from participating in sports teams consistent with their gender identity, and denying access to sex-segregated spaces that include restrooms and locker rooms. Similar legislation is even being pushed in the U.S. Congress.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality, is alarmed by the spate of anti-transgender legislation proposed across the country. We have found that less than a quarter of transgender and gender-expansive youth can definitely be themselves at school and only sixteen percent of transgender and gender-expansive youth feel safe at school. Every child deserves equal access to education, academic success, and a future in which they are empowered to fulfill their true potential, and these laws contravene that fundamental principle, which has long guided our nation’s education policy.

Transgender youth are already at a heightened risk for violence, bullying, and harassment. In addition, students who would be affected by these bills are among our most vulnerable to experiencing depression and engaging in self-harm, including suicide. These bills exacerbate those risks by creating an unwelcoming and hostile environment in places where students should feel the safest and most supported. Research has shown that when transgender youth have access to gender-affirming services, competent care, and affirmation, their risk of depression, anxiety, and other negative mental health outcomes is greatly reduced.

We stand in opposition to proposals that harm transgender youth, including limiting access to medically necessary, best-practice care, forbidding students from using the restroom at school consistent with their gender identity, and preventing transgender youth from playing sports alongside their peers. On behalf of our members and communities, we call on legislators across the country to reject these harmful measures.

Sincerely,

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

American Counseling Association

American School Counselor Association 

Association of Title IX Administrators 

Child Welfare League of America 

Mental Health America

National Association for College Admission Counseling 

National Association of School Psychologists 

National Association of Secondary School Principals  

National Association of Social Workers  

National Education Association 

National PTA

LGBT flag illustration by Symara Wilson for 360 Magazine

HRC Press Call

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Alphonso David and State Legislative Director Cathryn Oakley hosted a press call to preview the state legislative landscape for 2021. With a number of anti-LGBTQ bills being introduced, heard, and voted on now and in the coming months, Alphonso David and Cathryn Oakley discussed the recurring themes the Human Rights Campaign is seeing in anti-LGBTQ legislation across the country, and shared additional political and electoral context around these fights.

Upon viewing the state legislative landscape, it can be observed that national organizations are pushing anti-LGBTQ bills across the U.S. The discriminatory bills are mongered by fear, not facts, and the opposition to such bills has been becoming desperately vocal. Despite the broad popularity of supporting LGBTQ equality from the general American public and preference for pro-quality candidates – even by Republican voters – these bills still are being introduced. States who pass these anti-LGBTQ laws risk major harm to their queer residents’ lives. Bills like these have posed economic, reputational, and legal harm to states who consider passing them, as evidenced by the result of anti-LGBQT legislation in states such as North Carolina, Texas, Indiana, and Idaho, among others.

Fortunately, the HRC has a strong record of defeating anti-equality legislation in states. Their team is hard at work monitoring and leading the fight against anti-equality bills across the country this year. For example, senseless anti-transgender sports and medical care bills are being introduced in state legislatures across the country as the latest iteration of the political fight against LGBTQ equality. The HRC is looking lead LGBTQ+ friendly progress and combat National anti-LGBTQ+ groups like the Heritage Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom and the Eagle Forum who are leading the charge, rather than legislators or constituent concerns.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organizations working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Listen to the full recording of today’s press call here.

360 Magazine, LGTBQ+ Pride

2020 Pride Benefit Concert

In celebration of Pride, RCA Records is excited to announce they will be holding a virtual livestream – 2020 Pride Benefit Concert – to help raise funds for the Human Rights Campaign on June 30th.  The livestream will be mixed with performances from some of RCA’s outstanding roster as well as serve as a platform to educate viewers on the mission of the Human Rights Campaign and ways to get involved.  All proceeds received during the livestream will go to the Human Rights Campaign.

Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign: “Pride started with protest. And this year, it is clearer than ever that the fight for LGBTQ rights is intricately linked to the fight against racism and the fight for dignity for us all. Pride is also about celebration and the community we have built, together. And since many of us could not celebrate in person this year, we are looking forward to joining forces with RCA Records to host a virtual Pride benefit concert to close out the month. We are grateful to have this space to bring the community together, to celebrate our progress and redouble our commitment to the work we have ahead of us.”

Set to perform in this 1 hour livestream are Cam, TOBi, WALK THE MOON, Jimmy Eat World, Sam Fischer, SAYGRACE, Isaac Dunbar, Citizen Queen, Christian French and more to be announced.  Fans and viewers can tune in on Tuesday, June 30th at XX on RCA Records’ YouTube channel to catch the livestream.

The Human Rights Campaign and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation together serve as America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve LGBTQ equality. By inspiring and engaging individuals and communities, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBTQ people and realize a world that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all. The Human Rights Campaign envisions a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people are ensured equality and embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Since its inception in 1900, RCA Records, the second oldest label in American history, has been home to some of the most iconic music artists of all-time celebrating music across all genres.  The label has a rich, storied history which is earmarked by artists continually pushing their artistic boundaries and shaping the cultural landscape.

Follow RCA Records: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Follow Human Rights Campaign: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Luft Balloons, 360 magazine

LUFT BALLOONS

Known for spreading joy across the city of Chicago, Luft Balloons will celebrate the grand opening of its new studio, 345 W. Armitage Ave., from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23. Community members will be invited to visit Luft Balloons’ new location to enjoy a massive, colorful, outdoor balloon installation made of 3,500 balloons, and to take part in a contest with the opportunity to win prizes from Luft Balloons. 

Founded by Elaine Frei in 2016, Luft Balloons creates large, bold, balloon installations for events of all sizes and kinds, inside and out, and has worked with high-profile brands such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Nike, Eataly, Nordstrom, BHLDN, and many more.During the grand opening celebration, Luft Balloons will invite guests to visit, while practicing social distancing, and employees will distribute inflated mini balloons with safety pins to pop for a surprise discount on a future order. Discounts will include 20-50% off, a free balloon burst, and the grand prize, a $1,000 installation.“I founded Luft Balloons with the inspiration to “bring the joy” to people around me. Balloons make people happy, they just do, and at Luft Balloons, we are able to take something as simple as a balloon and create magnificent works of art,” said Elaine Frei, founder of Luft Balloons. “I am grateful that Luft Balloons has come so far over the years, and thankful for the support of my amazing team and community. We look forward to celebrating the opening of our new studio with the city of Chicago.”

Since the company’s founding, Luft Balloons has grown from its original location to the 3,000 sq. ft. studio and store in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago. The shop sells bespoke helium-filled balloon bouquets from their curated balloon collection as well as assembles artsy air-filled balloon décor – think a smaller-scale piece of Luft Balloons’ installations, arranged and inflated and ready to pick up and hang. Orders are available for pick up or delivery in the Chicago area.

Luft Balloons is open from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Monday – Saturday. For more information or to place an order, please visit https://www.luftballoonstore.com/

Chef Raffaele Ronca

Introducing Winner of The Food Network’s “Chopped,” Chef Raffaele Ronca, Naples-born chef  who left his beloved hometown at the age of 19 and headed for NYC to be more accepted as a gay man. Raff, who initially wanted to be an actor, quickly found success in his “day gig,” working behind the bar and, ultimately, in the kitchen of NYC’s most popular restaurants. His passion for cooking and entertaining eventually eclipsed his desire to pursue acting and led to a lifelong career. His time on the popular Food Network show allowed him to revisit his love of acting, and brought his career to a whole new level. Shortly after his win, he opened Rafele NYC’s West Village, the epicenter of the gay rights movement. The restaurant, Rafele, offered guests an authentic Italian experience and was an immediate success. Just last year, he opened a second location in Rye, New York.

Chef Ronca wholeheartedly believes in giving back to the community and supporting LGBTQ youth. He often donates his time and gifts by appearing at and cooking for various LGBTQ charities, including the Rainbow Railroad, an organization dedicated to helping lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals escape violence and persecution in their home countries.

Chef Ronca can speak on:

  • General features and profiles
  • World Pride themed cocktail, the Espresso Yourself Martini
  • Rainbow Railroad and supporting LGBT youth

More on Chef Raffaele Ronca:

Born and raised in Naples, Italy, Raffaele Ronca comes from a family of butchers and fishermen who collectively inspired his lifelong passion for food and flavors. With his family also in the restaurant business, Raffaele embraced cooking and culinary explorations as integral parts of not only his Italian culture, but also his heart and soul.

Working in his uncle’s restaurant in Naples and helping his mother make fresh pasta daily, Raffaele learned to respect the beauty and taste of fresh ingredients, as well as the time it takes to select and prepare them for fine dishes.

Immigrating to America at the age of 21, Raffaele worked steadily at some of New York’s most authentic Italian restaurants, including as the executive chef at Palma, chef du cuisine at Bellavitae and manager of food and wine at Caffé Torino.

Today, Chef Raffele Ronca is a winner of the hit Food Network show “Chopped.” He is also a collaborator with the James Beard Foundation, and his signature Buffalo Ricotta Cheesecake has been featured twice in Food & Wine magazine as one of the top cheesecakes in America, in addition to having received other impressive culinary accolades.

Chef Raffaele’s second restaurant, Rafele Rye, will make its debut in Westchester County, NY, in the spring of 2018.

For more information, please visit Rafele.com and contact janegoeypr@gmail.com.

Relationship Advice from NASA Engineer

Conservatives stay single longer

A new study from NASA engineer Rashied Amini, Ph.D. analyzes factors that contribute to how long people stay single. Some surprising results include conservative political views, higher education and not so surprising factors like income as a deal-breaker. The results of the study were used to create Nanaya’s love prediction algorithm, which is available for free and premium memberships online, and for iOS and Android.“Somehow this is the first time someone’s seriously looked at this question. The answers we found aren’t just about how long people stay single but also why,” said founder and owner of Nanaya,Rashied Amini, Ph.D.,on why he decided to conduct this study and start Nanaya.

Levelof education and rebound time have an almost perfectly correlated relationship. With someone staying single 0.8 months longer for each additional year of secondary & post-secondary education obtained. In addition, people who work in Academia & Higher Education have longer rebound times compared to other industries, with those working in agriculture having the shortest rebound time.

People who take public transit frequently will on average find relationships four months faster than people who never or rarely take public transit.

The size of your company could impact your love life. The study showed that people in workplaces of ~30-70 people have the best odds of entering a relationship sooner compared to smaller companies or large corporations.

Those with unempathetic political views tend to spend significantly longer looking for a relationship. Some of the opinions that have the most impact include being against marriage equality and universal healthcare, supporting increased border security, and being opposed to expanding welfare.

Feminists have an easier time finding relationships by approximately 1-2 months. This includes men who support feminism.

Compared to straight men and women, gay and bisexual people find relationships faster. Gay men spend the least amount of time single, followed by bisexual men and women.

Since non-Americans find love approximately 8 months sooner than Americans, traveling internationally can increase your chances of making a lasting connection.

Level of education and rebound time have an almost perfectly correlated relationship. With someone staying single 0.8 months longer for each additional year of secondary & post-secondary education obtained. In addition, people who work in Academia & Higher Education have a longer rebound time compared to other industries, with those working in Agriculture having the shortest rebound time.

According to Nanaya’s data, psychology and belief systems have a stronger correlation to time spent single. When it comes to children, those who want children spend the shortest time single, followed by those who don’t know if they want children. Single parents or those who don’t want children spend the longest time single.

About Nanaya

Nanaya has built one of the largest databases of romantic outcomes to ever exist. Unlike dating sites, Nanaya has data on how people actual live their lives and have romances in the real world – not just in the “Tinderverse.” Nanaya also has plenty of data on people in relationships. Unlike Facebook, Nanaya has data on personal values, experiences, and accurate personality data. What all this means is that Nanaya research is going to be a lot more complete and accurate than what anyone else can hope to do. Over the course of their research, they’ve identified personality traits that have significant impact on romantic outcomes. As a result, they’ve developed the brand new Nanaya Romantic Personality Quiz. In about 30 questions, Nanaya can describe romantic personality and outcomes better than anything that exists, whether it’s Myers Briggs or any other personality test.

For a free personalized test, go to http://nanaya.co/.

NO GAY? NO WAY!

LGBT advocates launched the “No GayNo Way!” campaign, spotlighting the eleven anti-LGBT locations in nine different states on Amazon’s recent list of finalists for its new headquarters. The campaign asks Amazon to select a market where all employees and customers will be protected from discrimination, and is planning a series of online and local activities to raise awareness.  The campaign launched with a Plane flying over Seattle (Amazon current HQ) with banner reading “”No GayNo Way!” and a mobile billboard circulating throughout Amazon’s campus.You can view the billboard and other graphics at www.nogaynoway.com.

 

SHAKIRA BARRERA

Shakira Barrera is a New Jersey native, from Englewood, NJ. By beginning to dance at age 3, a love for the arts was obvious at an early age. Shakira graduated from ‘Rutgers University’ at ‘Mason Gross School of the Arts’ with a BFA degree. Since moving to Los Angeles, she has become a bilingual actress, proudly representing her country of Nicaragua. 

She has been on shows such as “Rosewood“, “Faking It,” “East Los High,” “Those Who Can’t” and has done movies produced by James Franco as well as Mario Van Peebles. Her favorite role to portray was for Warner Brother’s new digital media platform, Stage 13, entitled “High and Mighty” where she portrays a caring, hard-working Latina. Shakira was a part of the 14 participants of the 2016 ‘ABC Diversity Showcase’ and was chosen out of 7,000 actors. Shakira is now filming Netflix’s, “Glow,” the 1980s-set female wrestling comedy. She has joined the cast for the 10-episode Season 2 playing Yolanda aka Yo-Yo, a a Mexican American dancer/stripper and out-and-proud lesbian who joins the team. 

LGBTQ EQUALITY × CALIFORNIA

State of LGBTQ Equality in 57 California Cities Detailed in HRC’s 6th Edition of the Municipal Equality Index
Many municipalities extend vital protections to their LGBTQ citizens and visitors
 
Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute, released its sixth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI), assessing LGBTQ equality in 506 cities across the nation, including 57 in California.

The 2017 Municipal Equality Index, the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policy, shows that cities across the country, including in California, continue to take the lead in supporting LGBTQ people and workers — even in face of renewed attacks this year on the LGBTQ community by federal and state officials.

For LGBTQ Americans, legal protections and benefits vary widely depending on location — states and cities have markedly different laws governing discrimination. 20 states have non-discrimination laws that include protections for LGBTQ people in employment, and 19 states have laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in places of public accommodation. But cities are leading the way: since the MEI’s debut in 2012, the number of cities earning perfect scores has increased more than sixfold, and today at least 24 million people live in cities that have more comprehensive, transgender-inclusive non-discrimination laws than their state.

The average score for cities in California is 76 out of 100 points, which falls above the national average of 57.

Anaheim – 80

Bakersfield – 60

Berkeley – 95

Brisbane – 54

Cathedral City – 100

Chula Vista – 86

Concord – 67

Corona – 60

Elk Grove – 77

Escondido – 60

Fontana – 60

Fremont – 86

Fresno – 57

Fullerton – 76

Garden Grove – 61

Glendale – 65

Hayward – 67

Huntington Beach – 61

Irvine – 83

Lancaster – 78

Long Beach – 100

Los Angeles – 100

Modesto – 59

Moreno Valley – 60

Oakland – 84

Oceanside – 100

Ontario – 54

Orange – 71

Oxnard – 53

Palm Desert – 72

Palm Springs – 100

Palmdale – 71

Pasadena – 84

Pomona – 72

Rancho Cucamonga – 54

Rancho Mirage – 100

Riverside – 65

Sacramento – 100

Salinas – 55

San Bernardino – 61

San Diego – 100

San Francisco – 100

San Jose – 100

Santa Ana – 63

Santa Clarita – 65

Santa Monica – 78

Santa Rosa – 87

Signal Hill – 97

Stockton – 70

Sunnyvale – 73

Thousand Oaks – 61

Torrance – 66

Vallejo – 81

Visalia – 62

West Hollywood – 100

Guerneville – 100

Richmond – 84

“This year’s MEI paints a vivid picture: cities big and small, in red and blue states alike, are continuing our progress toward full equality, regardless of the political drama unfolding in Washington, D.C., and in state legislatures across the country,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Today, the MEI serves as a vital tool for business leaders and municipal officials alike when it comes to economic development. CEOs know that in order to attract and retain the best employees, they must grow their companies in places that protect LGBTQ citizens from discrimination and actively open their doors to all communities. The MEI is the best tool to help these businesses make crucial evaluations about the welcoming — or unwelcoming — nature of towns and cities across the nation.”

“California is a national beacon of hope and LGBTQ equality in the era of Trump, something borne out by another year of perfect Municipal Equality Index Scores for the state’s biggest cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Jose and San Diego,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “Contributing to these successes, Equality California has been proud to endorse more winning candidates than ever in cities and towns across California over the last year. But scores in many areas, especially in the Central Valley and other inland areas, remain depressingly stagnant and low. Equality California is continuing to devote a significant amount of our focus to these regions, whose populations include some of the most marginalized members of California’s LGBTQ community.”

Since the MEI’s debut in 2012, the number of cities earning perfect scores has increased by more than sixfold, and today at least 24 million people live in cities that have more comprehensive, transgender-inclusive non-discrimination laws than their state.
Progress on transgender equality has been particularly noteworthy in cities across America this year, continuing a positive trend that the MEI has tracked — and encouraged — since 2012. Transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits are offered to employees of 111 municipalities this year — up from 86 in 2016, 66 in 2015 and just five in 2012. The MEI’s Issue Brief on Transgender-Inclusive Health Benefits is available here.

Other key findings from the 2017 Municipal Equality Index include:

  • 86 cities from states without comprehensive nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ people scored above the overall nationwide average of 57 points. These cities averaged 84-point scores; 28 scored a perfect 100.
  • Cities continue to excel even in the absence of inclusive state laws: 41“All Star” cities in states lacking comprehensive non-discrimination laws scored above 85 points, up from 37 last year, 31 in 2016, 15 in 2014, eight in 2013, and just two in 2012.
  • The national city score average increased from 55 to 57 points. 68 cities scored 100 points; 25 percent scored over 79 points; 50 percent scored over 59 points; 25 percent scored less than 36; and 11 cities scored zero points.

The MEI rated 506 cities including the 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities in the United States, the five largest cities or municipalities in each state, the cities home to the state’s two largest public universities, municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples and 98 cities selected by HRC and Equality Federation state group members and supporters. It assesses each city on 44 criteria covering citywide nondiscrimination protections, policies for municipal employees, city services, law enforcement, and city leadership’s relationship with the LGBTQ community. Starting in 2018, the MEI will introduce new criteria including protecting youth from “conversion therapy” and will deduct points for religious exemptions that allow discrimination by singling out LGBTQ people.

The full report, including detailed scorecards for every city, as well as a searchable database, is available online at www.hrc.org/mei.
 

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual,transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.