Minnesota’s cities had a mixed record on LGBTQ equality, according to the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index released last week.
St. Paul and Minneapolis earned a perfect score of 100 on the index. In fact, both cities earned extra credit on the index and technically scored 103 and 102, respectively. St. Paul led the pack, in part, because of it provides services to people living with HIV. Both cities scored extra because they enforce non-discrimination laws through their human rights commissions.
The cities on the index were selected in a variety of ways, according to the report:
These include: the 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities in the United States, the five largest cities or municipalities in each state, the cities home to the state’s two largest public universities (including undergraduate and graduate enrollment), 75 cities and municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples and 98 cities selected by HRC and Equality Federation state groups members and supporters.
Minnesota cities start with a minimum of 36 points on the index thanks to state laws — specifically the Minnesota Human Rights Act and the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act.
Two Minnesota cities scored below the national average of 57 points.
Bloomington scored lowest among Minnesota cities on the index at 47 points. The city lost points for not protecting gender identity in city employment, lacking transgender healthcare benefits, lacking a city contractor non-discrimination ordinance, no LGBTQ police liaison, failing to report hate crimes data, and not engaging in LGBTQ policy efforts. It avoided having the lowest possible score in Minnesota by having a nondiscrimination ordinance that covers sexual orientation.
Minnetonka barely beat Bloomington on the list with a score of 48 points. It gained on Bloomington by reporting hate crimes statistics which carries slightly more weight than having a nondiscrimination ordinance which it lacks.
Six cities scored above the national average.
Saint Cloud barely beat the average at 59 points
Eden Prairie scored 62 points,
Rochester came in at 63 points.
Duluth scored 66 points.