Salt Lake City gets 100 ranking for LGBTQ equality
Salt Lake City received its second 100 out of 100 rating from the Human Rights Campaign 2022 Municipal Equality Index. The MEI is a nationwide evaluation of 506 cities on how inclusive a municipality’s laws, policies, and services are of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people. Park City received a score of 70, second place for the state. Other cities in the state received the equivalent of an “f” grade, with Ogden at 58, West Valley City at 48, Provo at 40, and West Jordan and Orem at 36.
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City was able to achieve a rating of 100 by getting “Flex Points,” similar to extra credit at school. For anti-discrimination laws, the capital city received 20 out of 30 points, getting credit for nondiscrimination laws for employment and housing, but lacking a law protecting from LGBTQ bias in public accommodations. As an employer, the city was credited for having a non-discrimination policy in city employment, transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits, and an ordinance requiring nondiscrimination policies for its city contractors. The Salt Lake Human Rights Commission earned the city five points, as did an LGBTQ+ liaison for the mayor’s office. Law enforcement received a perfect score for having an LGBTQ liaison and for reporting FBI hate crime statistics.
Flex points were given for having openly LGBTQ elected leaders, city employee domestic partner benefits, the state policy that forbids conversion therapy for youth, and city services for a variety of LGBTQ demographics.
“Park City has a well-established reputation as a welcoming town for the LGBTQ+ community,” said Mayor Nann Worel. “And we remain committed to listening, learning, and working with the LGBTQ+ Task Force toward continuing to expand inclusivity in our community.”
Park City’s LGBTQ+ Task Force was formed in 2020 to advise on how the City could better reflect its values around inclusivity. In the past year, the LGBTQ+ Taskforce has worked to raise community awareness and visibility on the Wasatch back by hosting a Living Library event, organizing a two-session DEI Training for City staff and local stakeholders with Equality Utah, participating in the 4th of July parade, wrapping the Main Street Trolley in “Ride with Pride” branding for Pride Month, placing progress pride flag banners on Main Street, organizing a Utah Pride Parade entry, and hosting the Queerski event.
“Park City is engaging in the ongoing work of fostering an environment where the LGBTQIA+ community feels included and valued in the community. Although there is still room to grow, this score is something to be proud of, and it personally makes me excited to be a part of PCMC,” said Task Force liaison Browne Sebright.
Ogden and West Valley City
Both West Valley City and Ogden City had similar scores for municipal non-discrimination laws as Salt Lake, but lacked transgender benefits for municipal employees and an ordinance requiring city contractors to maintain an LGBTQ nondiscrimination policy. City police do not have an LGBTQ liaison. Ogden does have at least one openly LGBTQ elected official and has a human rights commission, earning it 10 more points than WVC.
Provo, West Jordan, Orem
The bottom three cities received points only because the state of Utah has nondiscrimination policies and protects children from so-called conversion therapy.