(Norwalk, Conn.) Today, November 14, 2023, Mayor Rilling is proud to announce that the City of Norwalk scored 100% on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s 2023 Municipality Equality Index. HRC is one of the nation’s largest advocacy organizations for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) people. Each year, the HRC Foundation partners with the Equality Federation to prepare their Municipal Equality Index (MEI) assessment. The MEI is a nationwide equality assessment that rates the inclusion laws, policies and practices that serve and support LGBTQ+ people in over 500 cities, including the City of Norwalk.
“The City of Norwalk is proud to receive a perfect 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign’s National Municipalities Equity Index, which rates how a city treats the LGBTQ+ community based on its policies and programs,” said Mayor Rilling. “In the City of Norwalk, we not only recognize our diversity, but we celebrate it. Our diversity, including sexual orientation and gender identity, is our greatest strength. Whether it’s raising the Pride flag at City Hall during Pride month, improving our LGBTQ+ non-discrimination policies at City Hall, or hosting community events like Pride in the Park that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community, Norwalk continues to strive to be an inclusive and welcoming place for everyone.”
The City of Norwalk offers benefits and protections to LGBTQ+ employees and has rolled out several non-discrimination policies for LGBTQ+ employees. Some of the City’s policies include anti-harassment initiatives to protect against misgendering of a person and outing a person who is transgender or non-binary. Norwalk has also dedicated LGBTQ+ liaisons on staff within the City of Norwalk and Norwalk Police Department, who are available to help the public connect with local resources and information.
You can view the City of Norwalk’s 2023 MEI scorecard by visiting https://hrc-prod-requests.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/MEI-2023-Assets/MEI-2023-Norwalk-Connecticut.pdf. The City of Norwalk, along with Stamford, are the only two municipalities in CT that received an 100% score this year. As per the Human Rights Campaign Foundation press release, the average 2023 MEI score for cities in Connecticut is 76 out of 100 points.
The MEI Scorecard rates and scores these categories within a municipality:
You can learn more by viewing the HRC’s 2023 Municipal Equality Index press release by visiting https://www.hrc.org/press-releases/hrcs-2023-survey-of-cities-towns-shows-record-support-for-lgbtq-residents-despite-unprecedented-homophobic-transphobic-rhetoric-attacks-by-states.