OMAHA, NE – The largest LGBT civil rights group in the US has done it again. The Human Rights Campaign, HRC, known for the Corporate Equality Index, has now developed a Municipal Equality Index to measure how LGBT-friendly our cities are.
HRC’s Municipal Equality Index has rated 137 cities across the nation. The Index includes the 50 state capitals, the 50 most populous cities in the country, and the 25 large, 25 mid-size, and 25 small municipalities with the highest proportion of same-sex couples. The MEI rates cities based on various criteria spanning six categories, including: Non-discrimination laws, relationship recognition, the city’s employment practices, inclusiveness of city services, law enforcement, and municipal leadership.
Nebraska’s Progressive Oasis of Omaha is listed in the index as well as Lincoln. You can find them in the PDF here. Lincoln is on page #157 and Omaha is on page #159. The Omaha index has some oddities, for example, the city has bonus points for supposedly having openly LGBT city leadership elected or appointed with a +3. Omaha’s overall score is a 59, still very low. Omaha has no openly LGBT leadership, although one of its suburbs does. The Index does not specifiy that its statistics include the Metro area. On top of some of the issues I already have with HRC, (I think they are elitist) I do remember controversy arose over their Corporate Equality Index when Target and Best Buy, both companies scored 100% on the CEI, were found to be supporting anti-LGBT groups with political funds. Let’s see if this MEI develops some integrity.