Buffalo has received a high ranking for its LGBT friendly policies. It’s not simply because we have great Allentown gay bars and a renowned Pride Festival that the city garnered high marks. It’s also not simply because Buffalo offers important health and awareness services. These are all important factors when it comes to being recognizing as an LGBTQ friendly city, of course.
The ranking delved deeper into the laws, policies, and services standards that many of us aren’t even aware of, such as “insurance benefits package for transgender individuals, the number of appointed officials from the LGBT community who serve on city boards and in management positions in City government, the City’s Commission on Citizens’ Rights and Community Relations, and funding for various programs established for those living with HIV/Aids.”
The Mayor’s City of Buffalo Opportunity Pledge also contributed to the high score. Buffalo earned 94 points on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) 2015 Municipal Equality Index (MEI). The index rated 408 cities in the US, with every state represented.
“I thank the Human Rights Campaign for recognizing the City of Buffalo’s continued commitment to fairness and equality and our score of 94 exemplifies our city’s commitment to serving all citizens, including members of the LGBT community,” said Mayor Brown. “As Mayor, one of my top priorities is to keep Buffalo at the forefront in the fight for civil rights and my Administration will continue to work to recognize and protect the dignity of all, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.”
While not receiving a top 100 ranking, Buffalo still scored high on the index chart – see rating breakdown.
“The latest rating shows that Mayor Brown has included Buffalo’s LGBT community with laws, policies and services that place our city in the upper echelon of national standards any progressive, welcoming place would be proud to call home,” said David Granville, City of Buffalo Commission on Citizens’ Rights and Community Relations Board Member. “The Opportunity Pledge is an example of how the City includes every citizen in its efforts to build a strong place to live and work.”
The MEI rates cities based on criteria falling under six broad categories:
- Non-discrimination laws
- Relationship recognition
- Municipal employment policies, including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage and non-discrimination requirements for contractors
- Inclusiveness of city services
- Law enforcement
- Municipal leadership on matters of equality
To read more about the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) 2015 Municipal Equality Index at: www.hrc.org/mei.