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Ohio cities score high on LGBTQ equality index

a pride flag
Elizabeth Winterbourne
Ohio cities received stellar scores from the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index.

Ohio cities have once again scored high on a nationwide assessment of LGBTQ equality. Akron, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton all earned perfect scores of 100 on the Municipal Equality Index.

Cathryn Oakley is the State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel for the Human Rights Campaign, who created the index.

Oakley says Ohio cities are prioritizing equality.

“What we’ve seen is that cities around the country and cities in Ohio are certainly among them that have really stepped up to the plate and said, ‘Well, we’re going to take care of you. We want you to know that you belong here, and we’re going to make sure that in our community we’re investing in equality, and we’re investing in you,'” she said.

Oakley says cities are graded on several criteria, including nondiscrimination protections, health care benefits, municipal services, policing and leadership.

Despite Ohio cities scoring high, as a state, Ohio does not have a nondiscrimination law that includes sexual orientation or gender identity. And Oakley says state legislators debated several bills this year that would harm the LGBTQ community.

Abigail Bottar is a junior at Kent State University. She is pursuing a major in political science with a concentration in American politics and minors in history and women's studies. Additionally, Abigail is starting her second semester copy editing for The Burr.
Mason Lawlor is a senior studying journalism at Kent State University, with a minor in entrepreneurship. He has been a reporter for The Kent Stater for three semesters covering sports and the city of Kent.