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City of Atlanta Earns Fifth Consecutive Perfect Score on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index

Post Date:10/19/2017 4:30 PM

 Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Anne Torres, Director
404-330-6423, office
404-904-2618, cell
amtorres@atlantaga.gov

Jenna Garland, Press Secretary
404-330-6612, office
404-357-5579, cell
jgarland@atlantaga.gov

 

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 19, 2017

 News Release

City of Atlanta Earns Fifth Consecutive Perfect Score on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index

Atlanta is the state leader for LGTBQ-friendly policies

ATLANTA – Mayor Kasim Reed today announced that the City of Atlanta has earned another perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2017 Municipal Equality Index (MEI). This is the fifth consecutive perfect score earned by the City, and the second straight year that the City of Atlanta earned four bonus points, the maximum available. Atlanta was once again the only city in Georgia to receive a perfect score in the index.

“I could not be prouder that the City of Atlanta has earned its fifth consecutive perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “My Administration has always worked to make sure our policies and practices speak to our values, but in 2017, it’s even more important to state unequivocally that the City of Atlanta supports our LGTBQ employees, residents and visitors. Our Atlanta Police Department has its first-ever LGBT leader, Chief Erika Shields. APD works to build and strengthen relationships with the LGBTQ community and protect this population. We have demonstrated that we will uphold and champion inclusiveness, and will not retreat from defending LGBTQ rights.”

Mayor Reed’s commitment to advocacy on behalf of the Georgia LGBT community dates back to his time as a Georgia state senator, where he was the chief sponsor of the state’s only LGBT-inclusive anti-hate crimes bill. He also led opposition against a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and served as an Honorary Co-Chair of the Mayors for Freedom to Marry campaign.

Earlier this year, Mayor Reed authorized the permanent installation of rainbow-themed artwork on crosswalks at the intersection of 10th and Piedmont, an historic place in Midtown where the LGBT community has gathered for both celebratory events and vigils. Hundreds of Atlanta residents gathered at this location following the tragic shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orland, Florida. In the weeks following the shooting, Mayor Reed met with LGBT leaders, business owners and event organizers at City Hall to discuss how to keep people attending events and nightclubs safe. After hearing from these leaders, Mayor Reed directed the Atlanta Police Department to hold a series of trainings to respond to active-shooter scenarios.

Mayor Reed has publicly opposed so-called religious freedom legislation for the last two years, which would allow religious discrimination against LGBT individuals in Georgia. Governor Deal vetoed the bill.

In 2016, the Reed Administration appointed Tracee McDaniel to the Atlanta Citizen Review Board, which provides citizen oversight of alleged police misconduct.  Ms. McDaniel is the first transgender member of the Atlanta Citizen Review Board in the city’s history. Mayor Reed also supported President Obama’s executive action to ensure transgender women and men have access to their preferred restroom in City Hall and all other City facilities.

Under the Reed Administration, the City of Atlanta maintains transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage for City employees. Mayor Reed also amended the Atlanta Code to include gender identity in all non-discrimination provisions. In 2013, Mayor Reed appointed Atlanta Law Department Chief Counsel Robin Joy Shahar as Mayoral Advisor on LGBT Issues.

The MEI is a report that rates 506 municipalities around the country on their inclusivity of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents and employees, on the basis of laws, policies and services.

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For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit http://www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @CityofAtlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed

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