Friday, November 22, 2013

Human Rights Campaign Publishes Municipal Equality Index On 291 American Cities; Anchorage, Fairbanks And Juneau Included

On November 22nd, 2013, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner published a brief story about the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) having published a Municipal Equality Index (MEI) rating a total of 291 American cities on their official policies towards gay people. The primary value of the story is in the local comments appended, although they also provide a link to the HRC survey. The cities of Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau are included in the survey, and the scores indicate HRC doesn't think very highly of us. The pertinent links are provided below:

-- Full 62-page Municipal Equality Index Report: This discusses the methodology, parameters, and conclusions. 9.7 MB, may take a couple of minutes to load.
-- Full 277-page 2012 Municipal Equality Index Scorecard: Displays the results of rated cities from the 2012 survey. Included Juneau, but not Anchorage or Fairbanks. (9.5 MB, may also take a couple of minutes to load).
-- Portal to 2013 city scorecards.

Methodology: The 50 state capitals, the 150 largest cities in the United States, the three largest cities or municipalities in each state, the city home to the state’s largest public university, and 75 cities and municipalities which have high proportions of same-sex couples were specifically targeted. HRC notified the cities of their intent to rate them in April 2013. The MEI team conducted the research, compiled it into a draft scorecard, and sent it to a given city for review. Cities were given an opportunity to review the draft scorecard and offer feedback prior to publication. HRC adds the disclaimer that this is not intended to be a ranking of a city’s atmosphere or quality of life, but merely an evaluation of a city’s laws and policies and an examination of how inclusive city services are of LGBT people.

Parameters: Cities were rated on a scale of 0-100, based on the city’s laws, policies, benefits, and services. There are 100 standard points and 20 bonus points. Six separate categories were chosen: Non-Discrimination Laws (18 points), Relationship Recognition (12 points), Municipality as Employer (26 points), Municipal Services (18 points), Law Enforcement (18 points), and Relationship with the LGBT Community (8 points). The HRC further defines these six categories HERE. One can see that HRC expects the public to treat the LGBT as a separate community rather than as fellow Americans who merely have a different sexual orientation, an approach which backfired in Anchorage in April 2012 when voters authoritatively rejected Proposition 5, a proposed gay nondiscrimination ordinance, by a 58 percent No vote. Thus HRC, in the name of "inclusivity", actually promotes gay apartheid. A summary of Alaska findings is provided below:

Anchorage. Overall score 21 out of 100:
-- Municipality as Employer: 6 out of 26 points. Awarded 4 points for Domestic Partner Health Benefits, and 2 points for Legal Dependent Benefits.
-- Municipal Services. 10 out of 18 points. Awarded 7 points for having a Human Rights Commission, and 3 points for the Anchorage School District's Enumerated Anti-Bullying School Policies. The Human Rights Commission referenced here is the Equal Rights Commission, which hears and investigates complaints from the community, and is not to be confused with the Office of Equal Opportunity, which is geared more towards employer/employee discrimination complaints.
-- Relationship with the LGBT Community: 5 out of 8 points. Awarded 4 points for Leadership’s Public Position on LGBT Equality, and 1 point for Leadership’s Pro-Equality Legislative or Policy Efforts (some Assembly Members supported Proposition 5).

Fairbanks. Overall score 2 out of 100:
-- Municipality as Employer: 2 out of 26 points for Equivalent Family Leave.

Juneau. Overall score 23 out of 100, up from 14 points in 2012:
-- Municipality as Employer: 8 out of 26 points. Awarded 4 points for Domestic Partner Health Benefits, 2 points for Legal Dependent Benefits, and 2 points for Equivalent Family Leave.
-- Municipal Services: 10 out of 18 points. Awarded 7 points for having a Human Rights Commission, and 3 points for the Juneau School District's Enumerated Anti-Bullying School Policies.
-- Relationship with the LGBT Community: 2 out of 8 points, both for Leadership’s Public Position on LGBT Equality.
-- Openly LGBT elected or appointed municipal leaders: Awarded 3 bonus points.



Public Reaction: A sampling of comments appended to the News-Miner story.

SaBe posted at 8:17 am on Fri, Nov 22, 2013:
Getting the results of a survey without learning just exactly what those number refer to (which municipal programs were reviewed, for instance), is only half the picture. On the surface, they are appalling. I would like to see all the results, not just one chart, and I would use this survey to start a meaningful discussion on what it means to discriminate. Finally, our community should make a substantive effort to eliminate discrimination regardless of color, race, LGBT, handicap, gender.. Public entities, whether they be city & borough governments, K-12, university, police, etc. have the obligation to lead the way.

rextrailbigfoot posted at 6:08 am on Fri, Nov 22, 2013:
Why is the LGBT advocacy organization Human Rights Campaign getting this kind of news coverage? We don't need the LGBT advocacy organization Human Rights Campaign in Fairbanks or North Pole. They belong in Californication.

Frank posted at 12:58 am on Fri, Nov 22, 2013:
Makes me even more proud to hail from Fairbanks!

justchillininthefrozennorth posted at 12:05 pm on Fri, Nov 22, 2013:
I'd say this ranks us higher in my book actually! What you do in your private life with whoever is your own damn business. Just keep all that nonsense away from me and out of my face in public. Its bad enough half the tv shows have their own token gay person/couple now.

4 comments:

  1. Their Majesties' Gracious Dispensations


    "Workers would be able allowed to divert a portion of their paychecks into an untaxed account that can be used to pay for gas and other fuels under new legislation set to be introduced in the Senate this week.

    The legislation, authored by Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), is aimed at lessening the burden of high gas prices on consumers. The bill comes as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are scrambling to do something about gas prices, which are nearing $4 a gallon.

    Begich, in a short interview with The Hill Tuesday, said he modeled the legislation on medical savings accounts, which allow the public to set aside a certain portion of money before taxes for medical expenses.

    'You get to put aside pre-tax dollars and the result is you get to buy your fuel with pre-tax dollars,' Begich said."
    Isn't it wonderful, what they will allow us these days? In their boundless concerns (with which their grasp is rapidly catching-up), they would graciously permit us what to save. They see the care that contemporary Americans require, and -- whether this heart-felt gesture makes it into the apparat or not -- it will extend as far into your whole life as they can get it.

    You are not yours, anymore. It only remains for them to claim what they can use of you.



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  4. Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn't any. But this wrongs the jackass.

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