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Eight Alabama Cities Receive Failing Grades on LGBTQ Equality

By Chip Brownlee
The Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—All of the cities in Alabama scored by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation on LGBTQ equality received a failing grade in this year’s Municipal Equality Index. The eight cities scored an average of eight out of 100 points.

The index, which was released Monday, scores the inclusivity of municipal laws, policies, services and employment.

Eight Alabama cities, Montgomery, Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Hoover and Florence, were scored. Birmingham, Hoover and Florence received the highest score in the State: a 12 out of 100.

Auburn received the lowest score, measuring in at a whopping zero out of 100. The Loveliest Village on the Plains was one of only eight cities across the US that received no points for LGBTQ inclusivity and equality among more than 500 cities scored in the index.

Cities are scored in the index based on their nondiscrimination laws, the employment attitude of the municipality, services provided by the city, law enforcement and the position of the city’s leadership toward LGBTQ equality.

Montgomery, which scored a nine out of 100 on the index, received points for the city’s employment nondiscrimination clause and explicit anti-bullying policies.

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Birmingham, which received a 12, took six points for anti-bullying policies, three for pro-LGBTQ equality stances among city leaders and three for pro-equality legislative and policy efforts. The Magic City was also awarded bonus points for providing HIV/AIDs services.

Cities are leading the way when it comes to LGBTQ equality in the absence of action from state leaders, the HRC said, with cities receiving an average score of 55 out of 100.

“More than 24 million people live in cities that have more comprehensive laws for transgender people than the states do,” HRC said. “And that’s an important part of how 135 million Americans — 42 percent of the population — are covered under LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination laws.”

Over the past two years, many states have also passed anti-LGBTQ “Freedom of Religion Laws,” which the HRC says legalizes discrimination against LGBTQ people.

“Despite another year of legislative attacks on LGBTQ equality, we are not merely holding our ground; we also continue to make significant gains across the country,” said Rebecca Isaacs, executive director of the Equality Federation Institute, which partnered with the HRC Foundation to conduct the report.

  • Birmingham: 12
  • Florence: 12
  • Hoover: 12
  • Montgomery: 9
  • Mobile: 7
  • Tuscaloosa: 6
  • Huntsville: 5
  • Auburn: 0

Chip Brownlee is a former political reporter, online content manager and webmaster at the Alabama Political Reporter. He is now a reporter at The Trace, a non-profit newsroom covering guns in America.

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