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NH Communities Fall Short on LGBTQ Equality
 
Published Tuesday, October 24, 2017
by GLENNISHA MORGAN

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the Equality Federation Institute released its sixth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI), assessing LGBTQ equality in 506 U.S. cities, including 10 in NH. The average score for NH communities was 44 out of 100 points on the MEI, the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policy. That is well below the national average of 57. Durham takes the lead in NH with 74 points, while Nashua scores the lowest with 28.

Legal protections and benefits for LGBTQ Americans fluctuate depending on location. States and cities have considerably disparate laws governing inequity. There are 20 states that have non-discrimination laws that include protections for LGBTQ people in employment, and 19 states have laws that protect the LGBTQ community from injustice in public spaces. That’s not even half of the nation’s states. Nevertheless, cities are leading the way since the MEI’s 2012 debut. There has been a huge increase in the number of cities earning perfect scores.

“This year’s MEI paints a vivid picture: cities big and small, in red and blue states alike, are continuing our progress toward full equality, regardless of the political drama unfolding in Washington, D.C., and in state legislatures across the country,” says HRC President Chad Griffin. “Today, the MEI serves as a vital tool for business leaders and municipal officials alike when it comes to economic development. CEOs know that in order to attract and retain the best employees, they must grow their companies in places that protect LGBTQ citizens from discrimination and actively open their doors to all communities. The MEI is the best tool to help these businesses make crucial evaluations about the welcoming -- or unwelcoming -- nature of towns and cities across the nation.”

MEI Scores for NH Communities:

Durham: 74

Dover: 49

Portsmouth: 48

Derry: 45

Keene: 44

Concord: 39

Manchester: 39

Rochester: 39

Plymouth: 33

Nashua: 28

 


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