Dallas Gets Perfect Score on LGBTQ Rights from Human Rights Campaign
2014 was a good year for LGBTQ rights in Dallas. The city added limited insurance benefits for transgender city employees, made it possible for city employees to use the Family Medical Leave Act to take care of their same-sex partners and started on a path toward getting retirement benefits for the same-sex partners of both uniformed and civilian city employees.
2015 was even better. During the spring, the city did just what it said it would do, making the same-sex partners of cops, firefighters and non-uniformed city employees eligible for pension and survivor benefits. When it happened in February, it was a big deal, but it was eclipsed when the Supreme Court decided in June that the Constitution guaranteed equal marriage rights. Same-sex couples no longer needed a special dispensation in lieu of marriage. Still, the city kept its promise to its employees.
Monday, the city's going to release a sneak peak at its Municipal Equality Index score. The Human Rights Campaign developed the MEI as away to quantify the efforts cities make to treat its employees as fairly as possible. Last year, Dallas scored a 91 out of a possible 100 (there are 100 standard points and 20 bonus points possible, but scores are capped at 100). That was good enough for second in Texas. Austin scored a 100. Some scores were truly embarrassing. Irving earned a zero — it did literally nothing to help its LGBTQ residents and Arlington scored all of 11 points.
For 2015, Dallas is going to join Austin at 100.
Despite the perfect score, there's still room for Dallas to add points. Dallas does not, as of yet, provide fully inclusive heath care benefits for transgender employees — the city's insurance still won't pay for people to transition. The city could also develop a city human right's commission, according to HRC.
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