Washington, D.C. ranks in the highest category along with 16 other states in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation and the Equality Federation Institute’s fifth annual State Equality Index (SEI) report which shows how state legislation affects the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer (LGBTQ) community.
The states that received the top rating in the report, aside from D.C., are as follows: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
The District has many important laws protecting the LGBTQ community, according to the report, including hate crime laws, foster care non-discrimination laws, and public accommodation laws. The report also notes that D.C. has no “Bad Bills Introduced” that could be detrimental to the welfare of the LGBTQ individuals.
“The work of the HRC Foundation and programs like the State Equality Index, along with HRC’s efforts day in and day out to advance protections for LGBTQ people at the state and federal level are vital to the struggle for LGBTQ civil rights,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.
Griffin said HRC and their partners last year defeated dozens of anti-LGBTQ bills, and also worked to pass crucial pro-equality measures to ensure LGBTQ Americans are protected wherever they live. “Already, we see the promise of even more protections passing in 2019 — with action taken in New York, Virginia, Kansas, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin,” he noted.
Griffin added that this year’s State Equality Index shows that it’s time to do away with this patchwork of state laws and protect the LGBTQ community by passing the federal Equality Act.
The highest category ratings increased to 17 this year from 13 in the last year, according to the report, but LGBTQ people are still prone to losing employment and other protections in 30 other states. The community also has to rely on every state’s laws since there is no federal legislation in place which guarantees their protection.