Last month, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) released its annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI)-a score card of how inclusive a city’s laws, policies, and services are toward the LGTBQ+ community. This year marks the 7th year of the HRC scoring cities with the MEI. Kenosha Pride, Inc. would like to congratulate the City of Racine on their score of 89/100, a 45 point increase over last year’s score of 41/100. Racine Mayor Cory Mason and the LGBT Center of Southeast WI teamed up to improve the score the City of Racine received. An increase of 45 points is celebration worthy. In contrast, the City of Kenosha received a score 39/100 on the 2019 MEI, a 5 point decrease over last year.
The City of Kenosha is lacking in many areas of inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ community as it relates to municipal laws, policies, and programs.
The City of Kenosha does NOT:
Prohibit discrimination of LGBTQ+ individuals in employment or public accommodations
Prohibit discrimination based upon gender identity but does prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in housing.
The City of Kenosha does NOT provide:
Transgender-Inclusive Healthcare Benefits to employees,
City Contractor non-discrimination ordinance relating to sexual orientation or gender identity an inclusive workplace by the HRC.
The City of Kenosha does NOT have:
Any specific Municipal Services for the LGBTQ+ Community,
A Human Rights Commission,
Non-Discrimination enforcement by a Human Rights Commission,
An LGBTQ+ Liaison within the City Administration.
Establish LGBTQ+ Police Liaison or Task Force.
The City of Kenosha FAILED to:
Report Hate Crime Statistics to the FBI
Many within the LGBTQ+ Community use the MEI to help determine if a city is a welcoming place for them to live or work. Of the 506 cities rated in the 2019 MEI, 25% received a score below 40/100. The City of Kenosha ranked the LOWEST of the 7 cities in Wisconsin that were reviewed.
In 2017 and 2018, I shared the MEI with the Mayor’s office, in hopes that the City would take a serious look at the deficiencies identified and attempt to improve the city’s score. This year, I have provided not just the Mayor, but the entire Common Council, with the MEI Scorecard and a letter addressing the 2019 score. If you feel that the City needs to address these items, contact the Mayor’s Office or your Alderperson and encourage them to take action.
Kenosha Pride, Inc.
View the full report HERE.