A new study of cities’ LGBT laws, services and practices gave Fort Worth and Dallas a perfect score for inclusiveness.
The 2016 Municipal Equality Index rated more than 500 U.S. cities for inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents in their municipal laws. The two largest North Texas cities received scores of 100, in contrast with the next-largest DFW city, Arlington.
Cities earn perfect scores by embracing laws and policies that often go beyond state and federal protections for LGBT people, according to a city of Fort Worth news release. Scores are based on five categories: nondiscrimination laws, employment practices, municipal services, law enforcement and relationship with the LGBT community.
Fort Worth scored 18 of 24 points in employment practices because of a lack of of transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits, but got bonus points for municipal services and LGBT community relationship. Scores can’t exceed 100.
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Arlington, on the other hand, received a score of 44, because it scored a 0 out of 30 in nondiscrimination laws, 12 of 24 points in city employment and six of 16 in municipal services.
In the previous four years of the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, Fort Worth got 99 points in 2015, 83 in 2014, 91 in 2013 and 89 points in 2012.
Elsewhere in Texas, Austin got 100 points, San Antonio got 95, Houston scored 71, and El Paso scored 57.