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New Report Finds Ohio Cities Are Improving in LGBT Inclusiveness

Photo of Oakley
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation

A new report by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation shows that cities across the U.S. are improving the way that members of the LGBT community are included in the places they live.

WKSU’s Michael Bratton has more on the report and how Ohio measures up.

The 2015 Municipal Equality Index examines city policies, laws and services and then rates them on a 100-point scale based on inclusiveness.

The Buckeye State received an overall rating of 87. The national average was 56.

Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus received top scores, while Toledo and Cleveland scored in the mid-70s. Akron scored the lowest with a 73.

Study author Cathryn Oakley says Ohio’s cities have a lot to be proud of in this year’s report.

“It’s difficult to get all 100 points on this, and so it’s a huge accomplishment for the cities that have and they deserve to be celebrated,” said Oakley. “I don’t think that having a mid-70s score is anything to be ashamed of although certainly it does mean that there’s room for improvement.”

Nationally, the survey included 408 municipalities; 47 received perfect scores. Oakley says this shows that America’s cities are working to be more inclusive.

“Truly cities across the country are acting to protect people from anti-LGBT discrimination,” said Oakley. “And it’s very exciting to see that cities really are doing that sometimes even with the states aren’t.”

Oakley also says Ohio can work to improve its ranking by providing transgender benefits for city employees and implementing community liaisons.