The City of Ferndale has received a perfect score for inclusive policies by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the Equality Federation Institute—one of a record-breaking 78 US cities to do so.
The two foundations have developed the Municipal Equality Index (MEI), which ranks cities across the United State by examining how inclusive municipal laws, policies, and services are of the LGBTQ people who live and work there. Cities are rated based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services law enforcement, and the City leadership’s public position on equality.
“We’re proud of our score which reflects the important policies and actions we’ve taken in support of our commitment to LGBTQ inclusion,” said Mayor David Coulter. “Ferndale is an example of the success that can be achieved when everyone is welcomed to participate and contribute their talents.”
This perfect score of 100 is an improvement from the 94 received in 2017 and reflects the continuous review of policies to move the City forward as a welcoming community for all people.
Ferndale received bonus points in multiple categories for providing the following services and benefits not currently accessible in all cities:
• Single-occupancy all-gender facilities
• Protection for youth from conversion therapy
• City employee domestic partner benefits
• Youth bullying prevention policy for City services
• City provided services for LGBTQ youth, homeless, and elderly
• City provided services for HIV/AIDS population
• City provided services for transgender community
• Openly LGBTQ elected or appointed municipal leaders
• City tests limits of restrictive state laws