The Human Rights Campaign released the 2022 Municipal Equality Index, and Charleston is on the list. How did we score?
Each year, the Human Rights Campaign releases a Municipal Equality Index which takes a deep dive into municipal laws, policies, and services and how inclusive they are of LGBTQ+ people. This year’s edition examined 506 cities on 49 different criteria across five categories — non-discrimination laws, municipality as employer, services and programs, law enforcement, and leadership on LGBTQ+ equality.
Based on these criteria, Charleston earned a score of 71 out of 100. Not too shabby.
This category looks at whether LGBTQ+ discrimination is prohibited by law in areas of employment, housing, and public accommodation. Charleston achieved a 20 out of 30 for our laws across the state, county, and municipality.
Municipality as employer
Cities can achieve points for inclusive employment policies like trans-inclusive healthcare policies and non-discrimination in city employment. Charleston got a 14 out of 28.
Services and programs
This section considers the city’s efforts to include LGBTQ+ folks in city services and programs. Charleston scored 5 out of 12.
Looking at the relationship between law enforcement and the LGBTQ+ community, Charleston earned 22 out of 22. A perfect score.
Leadership on LGBTQ+ equality
This section looks at city leadership’s commitment to advocacy and inclusion. Charleston got an 8 out of 8.
Where we can improve
No city is perfect. Charleston would achieve a higher score from the HRC with a few extra efforts.
For example, either the state, county, or municipality could enact laws against employment discrimination. The city could provide transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits and domestic partner benefits to its employees. And we could elect or appoint openly LGBTQ+ leaders.