Minnesota cities citied for gay-friendly policies

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

For third year straight, Jersey City is No. 1 for LGBT community, report says.

The Human Rights Campaign singled out several Minnesota cities for their efforts to secure the legal and civil rights of gay, lesbian and transgender citizens. JERSEY CITY — Jersey City is No. 1 in the state when it comes to LGBT rights, according to a national gay rights group that ranks how LGBT-friendly American cities are.Logo and Witeck Communications revealed a study last week that documents 25 of the most lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)-inclusive companies whose work is paving a way for queers in and outside of the business world.In December 1967, Louisville became the first major city in the South to pass an open housing law, forbidding discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin and sex. Called Top 25 Trailblazing Companies of 2015, the study named Google, Johnson & Johnson, Wells Fargo, Marriott and Gap as the top five, based on an expansive set of criteria.

Paul earned perfect scores on the group’s 2015 Municipal Equality Index, which ranked local governments on their policies for everything from housing discrimination to health coverage. Logo provided the following infographic as an explanation for how these 25 companies were chosen: “It’s one thing to craft an HR manual that says all the right things,” Todd Sears, Founder & Principal of Out Leadership, said in a press release. “It’s quite another for a company to live its inclusive values every day — bravely stepping forward and identifying LGBT customers as important and equal members of their communities. In the report, Long Beach was highlighted for its contractor non-discrimination ordinance, trans-inclusive health benefits and the city’s pro-equality policy efforts. Jersey City again beat out the competition from other gay-friendly cities in New Jersey, including Trenton, which scored a 70; Asbury Park, 63; and Montclair, 62. We applaud these companies for their leadership, and for demonstrating that including LGBT people is not just the right thing to do, but also the smart business play.

LGBT-inclusive branding pays exponential dividends, because as we’re increasingly seeing in our global work, our friends, families and allies are paying close attention, too.” The group looked for cities with human rights commissions, LGBT outreach programs in schools and in police departments, and city health insurance policies that cover transgender healthcare. The city’s proximity to New York, its large artist community and most of all its diversity help keep the city friendly to the LGBT community, Billy said. Our city was able to achieve 100 because we have, among other things, developed comprehensive LGBT trainings, changed city policy to ensure that contractors protect their LGBT workers, and launched initiatives to address our most vulnerable populations, including LGBT youth, elderly and homeless. Most recently, Louisville invited LGBT couples to “Say I do in Lou” — part of a Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau campaign that encouraged couples to tie the knot in our city, which earned us the distinction as one of Travel & Leisure’s“Nine Perfect Places for Your LGBT Wedding Destination.” As executive director of the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission, I am very proud of those accomplishments – whether they came through the commission, or other agencies, like the LMPD.

The commission’s mission is to promote unity, understanding and equal opportunity among all people of Louisville Metro, and to eliminate all forms of bigotry, bias, and hatred from the community. In other words, you may not agree with others’ lifestyles, and you do not have to agree – but everyone has the right to be treated with love and respect. A big win this year for the HRC, and the community as a whole, was the Jefferson County Public School board’s approval of a non-discrimination policy that includes transgender students and staff.

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