E.L. ranks high statewide in LGBT rights

By Andy Balaskovitz

Human Rights Campaign gives East Lansing high marks for LGBT policies

Tuesday, Nov. 19 — Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, has ranked the city of East Lansing near the top in Michigan when it comes to offering LGBT protections.

The group’s annual Municipal Equality Index report ranked 291 U.S. cities on their LGBT policies, with a high possible score of 100. Of eight cities in Michigan, East Lansing — with an 86 — ranked second behind Ann Arbor, which was an 88.

However, the score didn’t include East Lansing’s domestic partner registry, which was adopted by the City Council in mid-October that formally recognizes same-sex couples. Ann Arbor is the only other Michigan city with a domestic partner registry, though East Lansing would have propelled to first in the rankings had it been scored. East Lansing ranked better than Ann Arbor elsewhere in the Human Rights Campaign index.

Municipalities were graded on non-discrimination laws, relationship recognition, public employee benefits and hiring policies, municipal services (such as a Human Rights Commission), law enforcement and the city’s overall relationship with the LGBT community.

Lansing placed fourth in Michigan with a score of 66 behind Ann Arbor, East Lansing and Detroit. Others on the list — in descending order — were Pleasant Ridge, Grand Rapids, Ferndale and Warren.

See here for East Lansing’s scorecard. Here’s a link to the full report.