For the second year in a row, the City of Tempe has earned a perfect score of 100 in the 2015 Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s annual Municipal Equality Index, a gauge of how cities are doing on LGBT equality issues, making it one of 47 cities in the nation with a top score.
The foundation announced its 2015 rankings this morning on its website, www.hrc.org. Phoenix and Tucson also received perfect scores.
In addition, this year Tempe is named an “All Star” city, which signifies cities that continue to excel in states lacking comprehensive non-discrimination laws.
The MEI rates cities based on 41 criteria that fall into five broad categories: non-discrimination laws; municipal employment policies, including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage and non-discrimination requirements for contractors; inclusiveness of city services; law enforcement, including hate crimes reporting; and municipal leadership on matters of equality.
“Tempe earning another perfect Municipal Equality Index score is a reflection of our community’s longstanding commitment to eliminating barriers and creating opportunities for all,” said Mayor Mark Mitchell. “I am proud of our success, but our work is not done. I look forward to continuing to build on Tempe’s reputation as one the most welcoming cities in the entire nation.”
Tempe has a history of valuing diversity and taking action to prevent discrimination.
In 1999, the city was one of the first in Arizona to begin providing domestic partner benefits. In February 2014, the City Council unanimously approved an anti-discrimination ordinance that secured broad protections for all community members. In August 2014, Tempe voters approved an amendment to the city Charter to prohibit discrimination or favor for city positions on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, familial status, age, disability, political affiliation and United States military veteran status, except as such favor may be authorized by law. Protections apply to employment at the city and at businesses in Tempe, as well as to contracts, housing, public places and appointments to city Boards and Commissions.