Putting our skills to good use

We aided the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in its annual assessment of local LGBT+ laws, policies, and services around the United States.

A team of our paralegals and practice support specialists collaborated across offices to lend their research skills to the HRC's yearly Municipal Equality Index (MEI). Produced in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute, the MEI is a powerful tool in promoting awareness and action surrounding inclusivity toward LGBT+ people by cities and employers, particularly among elected officials and community advocates.

In its fifth year of publication, the 2016 report rated a total of 506 cities from every state in the nation – an increase of 369 cities since the first edition. Cities are rated based on 44 criteria that fall into five general categories: non-discrimination laws; municipal employment policies; inclusiveness of city services; law enforcement, including hate crimes; and the city leadership's public position on matters of equality. Our work focused on 53 cities in six states: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, and Iowa. We examined city government human resource policies and practices in order to identify specific information pertaining to the access, visibility, and protection of and for the LGBT+ community within that city. Researchers sifted through websites, employee manuals, and local newspapers to assess progress.

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