Tuesday, November 14, 2023
PROVIDENCE, RI– Mayor Brett P. Smiley today announced Providence’s perfect score on the Human Right Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI). The City has earned this grade every year since 2014 and remains the only eligible city in Rhode Island to receive such high marks. This year 129 out of 506 eligible cities nationwide achieved 100-point scores.
“I am incredibly proud to receive this score, further affirming Providence’s reputation as a welcoming and inclusive city,” said Mayor Brett P. Smiley. “At a time where LGBTQ+ rights are under attack on the national level, Providence continues to protect its diverse communities with city ordinances and policies. Over the next three years, my Administration will continue to improve every aspect of our local quality of life and make Providence a place anyone can thrive.”
The MEI measures the inclusivity of municipal laws, policies, and services for LGBTQIA+ community members. Cities are also rated on the municipality as an employer, non-discrimination laws, equity in municipal services, law enforcement practices, and the city leadership’s relevant public positions.
“I’m proud of our city for embracing inclusivity and fostering a culture where everyone feels accepted, valued, and respected,” said Council President Rachel Miller. “As an employer, the city has come a long way, offering benefit protections to LBGTQ+ employees. Our police department has an LBGTQ+ liaison/task force for the responsible reporting of hate crimes. Having a mayor and council president who are both members of the LBGTQ+ community creates an important moment to ensure that the city is welcoming and inclusive for all public employees.”
This year’s MEI scorecard can be found online here.