Government, Human Resources, and Nonprofits

Grand Rapids rates below average for LGBT equality

December 11, 2013
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Among eight Michigan cities, a civil rights organization ranks Grand Rapids sixth for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.

The Human Rights Campaign, which calls itself the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, said the city scored a 56 across six equality factors on the 2013 Municipality Equality Index, which the nonprofit organization did in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute.

HRC, which is based in Washington D.C., reported Michigan has an overall score of 61, which is above the national average of 57 points.

All scores were based on a possible 100 points.

Michigan city LGBT equality scores

Ann Arbor  88
East Lansing  86
Detroit  72
Lansing  66
Pleasant Ridge  60
Grand Rapids  56
Ferndale  45
Warren  15

Grand Rapids' marks

Grand Rapids' best score came in the category of non-discrimination laws: the city scored a perfect 18 on an 18-point scale.

Its worst score, a zero out of 12 possible points, came in the “relationship recognition” category.

In municipal services, Grand Rapids scored a 7 out of 18 and a 10 out of 26 in the “municipality as an employer” category.

As for the law enforcement category, the city was given a 10 out of 18.

Grand Rapids scored a 4 out of 8 for the city’s “relationship with the LGBT community,” which rated municipal leadership on matters of equality.

In all, the HRC LGBT equality survey measured the six factors in 291 municipalities in the nation, and 25 cities were given a perfect score of 100. Twenty-five also had perfect scores in the 2012 measurement, while only 11 did in 2011.

“Equality isn’t just for the coasts anymore,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “This groundbreaking report shows that cities and towns across the country — from Viccio, Kentucky, to Coeur, Idaho — are leading the charge for basic fairness for LGBT people.”

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