NASHVILLE, TN (TN Tribune) – Nashville and Davidson County has received a 78 out of 100 score following the release of the 2020 Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index. The 2020 MEI is a nationwide evaluation of 506 cities on how inclusive cities’ laws, policies, and services are of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people. Nashville received a score of 63 in 2018 and a score of 70 in 2019.
This year, the MEI rated cities based on 49 criteria within five categories including non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and the city leadership’s public position on equality.
Mayor John Cooper acknowledged the improvement and said, “This is a welcomed recognition for our city. I’m thankful for the great work Brandon Marshall, our LGBTQ Liaison, has done with our city’s departments to achieve this score. Nashville is a city for all residents and visitors, especially in our LGBTQ community. More work needs to be done to achieve a higher score.”
Nashville was recognized for improvement in the following categories: Inclusive Workplace, Youth Bullying Prevention Policy for City Services, City Provides Services to LGBTQ Youth, and City Provides Services to LGBTQ Homeless People.
Metro Council Member Nancy VanReece who is also the Chair of the LGBTQ Caucus of the Metro Nashville Council said, “The LGBTQ Caucus of the Metro Nashville Council is pleased to see the HRC Equality Index numbers increase a full 8 points in Nashville. We celebrate the hard work of those working with Nashville’s LGBT youth, such as Just Us at Oasis and the work Nashville Launch Pad does every day to ensure our youth know that they are loved, welcomed, and extraordinary. Our anti-bullying legislation this year further solidifies the Metropolitan Government’s existing workplace conduct policy, which includes guidelines, reporting, and other related procedures addressing anti-bullying efforts in the workplace for people of all ages.”