City of Bloomington Earns Ninth Perfect Score on Human Rights Campaign Index

~ The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation and the Equality Federation have awarded Bloomington a perfect score on the annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI). This marks the ninth consecutive year that Bloomington has been recognized with a perfect score, making it one of 129 cities in the U.S. to earn a perfect score this year, up from 120 cities last year. Bloomington is also the only city in Indiana to achieve a 100% score and is one of three cities in Indiana to be considered an "MEI All-Star", earning a high score in a state that lacks non-discrimination laws that expressly include LGBTQ+ people.

Mayor John Hamilton expressed his appreciation for the recognition, saying "As a community we strive to earn a 100% MEI rating everyday, and it is rewarding to be recognized for our efforts. We also remember that our LGBTQ+ neighbors can face discrimination daily. We all have work still to do, and I again call on the State Legislature to codify protections for our Hoosier LGBTQ+ community members. It is worth celebrating nine years of a perfect record as a community committed to improving the lives of all Bloomington residents."

The MEI score is determined by evaluating how inclusive a city's laws, policies, and services are of the LGBTQ+ people who live and work there using 49 criteria across five categories: non-discrimination laws, municipality as an employer, municipal services and programs, law enforcement, and leadership on LGBTQ+ equality.

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Bloomington has implemented various initiatives on supporting, engaging, and protecting LGBTQ+ individuals such as City code including laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations; City contractors being required to comply with a non-discrimination ordinance; Human Rights Commission enforcing non-discrimination ordinance; City providing employees with domestic partner benefits; City's healthcare benefits being transgender-inclusive; Police department employing an LGBTQ+ liaison; Police department reporting 2022 hate crimes statistics to the FBI; City maintaining single-occupancy all-gender facilities; City providing services to those living with HIV or AIDS.

Michael Shermis from Human Rights Commission said "This perfect MEI score shows Bloomington is implementing good policies and procedures. That's necessary to ensure we can meet the challenges that equity and inclusion issues continue to present to our community and beyond." Established in 1980, HRC is an advocacy group working towards civil rights for LGBTQ+ individuals in the United States. The HRC began evaluating cities using MEI in 2012 which has become an important benchmarking tool for municipal officials, policymakers, business leaders etc., understanding LGBTQ+ inclusion better.

The full 2023 MEI Report is available at while more information about BHRC can be found at .

Filed Under: Government, City

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