Valley Cities Equality Scores Get a Boost
PALM SPRINGS--Three desert cities are getting a boost from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. After receiving lackluster report cards from the civil rights organization, the cities asked to be re-evaluated.
The Municipal Equality Index Scorecard rates cities on their nondiscrimination laws, relationship recognition, employment practices, and inclusiveness in city service, law enforcement and city leadership related to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
The initial survey gave Rancho Mirage the lowest score with just 44 points. Cathedral City got a score of 70 and Palm Springs was given 77 points. Now all three cities are proud to show off their new ratings. Palm Springs scored nearly perfect with a 95 out of 100.
"First and foremost the city is very diverse and we have people from all walks of life. The LGBT community is one component of that. It's important for our tourism, it's important for our community and I think our city council has showed that in their policies and we certainly have done that at city hall," Palm Springs City Manager David Ready said. "It is important from that perspective that we are a leader among cities, among how we treat the LGBT community and we also try and reach for that kind of level with every segment of society."
The new score for Rancho Mirage is 89. Cathedral City jumped to 81. HRC looked at 137 cities from around the country including the 50 largest cities and cities with a large per-capita LGBT community. City leaders say the new scores better represent their committment to the LGBT community, and their effort to champion equality and civil rights here in the valley.