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Human Rights Campaign Ranks Boise (Barely) Above Average for LGBT Protections


  • Kelsey Hawes

The Human Rights Campaign has ranked Boise slightly above average in a national scorecard for LGBT protections.

The 2015 Municipal Equality Index assigns cities scores on a 1-100 scale for legal protections extended to LGBT people. This year, the index included five Idaho cities: Boise (61 points), Idaho Falls (55 points), Meridian (13 points), Nampa (19 points) and Pocatello (59 points). Idaho's statewide average is 41 points—national average is 56 points.

In all, the index contains scores for 408 cities across the U.S., 47 of which received perfect scores—up from 38 in 2014. The index also reveals that 32 million Americans live in municipalities with stronger LGBT protections than their state's overall.

The index bases its ratings on five broad categories: nondiscrimination ordinances or laws, employment policies, law enforcement, city services and city leadership.

So far, 13 Idaho cities have passed nondiscrimination ordinances providing legal protections for LGBT people in areas like housing, public accommodations and employment. During the last legislative session, Idaho lawmakers considered adding "gender identity" and "sexual orientation" to the Gem State's 1960s-era human rights law. After three days of public testimony, however, the House State Affairs Committee voted against sending the bill to the House.