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Posted on: October 17, 2016

Rockville Ranks Second in State for LGBT Support and Inclusivity

Rockville, Maryland, Oct. 17 — Rockville's commitment to the health, welfare, safety and equality of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has earned high marks from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

The fifth annual Municipal Equality Index scorecard (MEI), released Monday, Oct. 17, analyzes and rates 506 municipalities across the country, measuring them for the inclusivity of laws, policies and services for their LGBT communities.

Rockville received a score of 98 out of 100 on the HRC's MEI — second only to Baltimore out of the 10 Maryland towns and cities on the 2016 index.

Rockville's 98 points represents a significant improvement over its 2015 score of 60 out of 100.
One of the Mayor and Council’s priority initiatives is to “Review existing codes and policies based on the scoring of the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Index and identify modifications to enhance LGBT nondiscrimination.” A list of the initiatives is on the City of Rockville’s website, www.rockvillemd.gov/priorityinitiatives.

Among factors leading to the improved ranking was this year's appointment of two liaisons to the LGBT community, one for the Rockville City Police Department and one in the City Manager’s Office; health care options specifically for LGBT employees; events that highlighted and supported LGBT awareness for the city’s youth and elderly; and public support from the Mayor and Council.

The Mayor and Council have attended several events to raise awareness for organizations that support the LGBT community, including a July performance of "Rent" at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre that collected toiletries and other critically needed supplies for homeless LGBT youth living in shelters countywide.

The city is committed to improving its MEI scores further, and is actively discussing updating a policy for companies contracting with the city to prevent discrimination based on gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation or personal appearance.

The report can be found at www.hrc.org/mei.

2016 MEI Maryland Rankings

Baltimore 100 Rockville 98
Towson 94 Frederick 86
College Park 83 Annapolis 65
Gaithersburg 59 Bowie 56
Columbia 53 Hagerstown 36

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Marylou Berg
Director of Communication

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