2014 Was a Good Year for LGBTQ Rights in Dallas
Starting with the adoption of a an equality resolution by the City Council in March, 2014 saw the city of Dallas continue to inch its way to becoming one of the most inclusive municipalities in the country. The city added health benefits for transgender city employees, made it possible for city employees to use the Family Medical Leave Act to care for same-sex partners and approved a legislative program for the upcoming session that includes recommendations from the newly created LGBT task force.
As a result, the city improved its score on the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index from 81 to 91, placing Dallas in the upper echelon of scores from cities in states that do not have LGBTQ inclusive laws.
The city did lose some points in the survey for failing to create a registry for domestic partnerships and failing to create an equal benefits requirement for businesses doing contract work for the city.
Dallas' 2014 score is the second highest in Texas. Austin, as it did in 2013, scored a perfect 100. Two other DFW cities, Irving and Mesquite, scored a zero. Fort Worth, which scored higher than Dallas in 2013, saw its score dip from 91 to 83. Cowtown lost points for not having equivalent family leave and an anti-bullying policy.
Next up for LGBTQ rights in 2015, said Cheryl Orr, the city manager's office's ethics and diversity officer, is getting same-sex partners included in pensions for both civilian employees and the police and fire departments.
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