Metro Weekly

D.C. is “working toward innovative equality” according to HRC’s State Index

Maryland and Virginia lag behind

“States in this category have marriage equality, robust LGBT non-discrimination laws, the most protections for transgender people. Many are working on innovative laws and policies guaranteeing access to health care, and to protect LGBT youth.”

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— The criteria that must be met for a state (or district, in D.C.’s case) to be considered as Working Toward Innovative Equality by the Human Rights Campaing (HRC), as part of their annual State Equality Index, which ranks the 50 states plus D.C. on the laws and protections they have in place for LGBT people.

D.C. placed in the top category of states, but the rest of the DMV area is lagging behind. Maryland placed in the third category, Building Equality. “States in this category have marriage equality and have passed basic non-discrimination and hate crimes laws,” the Index states. “Some lack explicit gender identity and anti-bullying protections. Bad laws are more common.”

Virginia, however, came in last, tying with states including Alabama, Missouri and Texas, and is considered a “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality” by HRC. According to the Index, “Most states in this category have bad laws undermining LGBT equality, from criminalization of HIV and sodomy, to religious-based discrimination. None have explicit statewide non-discrimination protections for sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The full Index can be viewed here.

Image Credit: Nicolas Raymond / Flickr

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's online editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.

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