Five stories that have North Texas talking: Irving ranks lowest in metroplex on LGBTQ equality index; Denton supports SB 4 lawsuit; take flight in the Madras Maiden; and more.
Dallas and Fort Worth again scored perfectly on the Human Rights Campaign report released Thursday that ranks cities based on the inclusivity of their laws and services for the LGBTQ community.
Most of the surrounding cities in North Texas didn’t see any change from 2016’s Municipal Equality Index either; however, they scored in the lower half. Plano maintained the highest score among the suburbs. Both Denton and Grand Prairie improved their position by nine and 12 notches, respectively. Irving had the lowest score in the region and tied statewide with Laredo.
Click each city to see the details of its score. In parentheses is each city’s 2016 score.
- Arlington, 44 (44)
- Dallas, 100 (100)
- Denton, 44 (35)
- Fort Worth, 100 (100)
- Garland, 22 (22)
- Grand Prairie, 24 (12)
- Irving, 6 (6)
- McKinney, 18 (18)
- Mesquite, 21 (21)
- Plano, 74 (74)
They were measured in five areas:
- Non-discrimination laws: "This category evaluates whether discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is prohibited by the city, county, or state in areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations."
- Municipality as employer: "By offering equivalent benefits and protections to LGBTQ employees, and by awarding contracts to fair-minded businesses, municipalities commit themselves to treating LGBTQ employees equally."
- Municipal services: "This section assesses the efforts of the city to ensure LGBTQ constituents are included in city services and programs."
- Law enforcement: "Fair enforcement of the law includes responsible reporting of hate crimes and engaging with the LGBTQ community in a thoughtful and respectful way."
- Relationship with the LGBTQ community: "This category measures the city leadership’s commitment to fully include the LGBTQ community and to advocate for full equality."
The 2017 index measures 506 municipalities of varying size. In Texas, 25 cities were ranked. Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin were the three Texas cities out of 68 across the U.S. that scored perfectly. San Antonio was close with a score of 95. On average, Texas cities earned a 41 out of 100; that's below the national average of 57.
Some links have a pay wall or require a subscription.
- Immigration battle: The Denton City Council this week voted to approve a resolution supporting the city of El Cenizo in its lawsuit against Senate Bill 4. Texas’ largest cities except Fort Worth have joined the legal fight. [Denton Record-Chronicle]
- Preserving history: The Madras Maiden is one of the few working World War II-era bombers left of the more than 12,000 B-17s. For 30 years, it belonged to Chuckie Hospers of Fort Worth. She sold it in 2010 after her husband died. This week, she flew got to fly in it again. [KERA News]
- HQ2 hopefuls: Thursday was the deadline for U.S. cities to turn in their bids to host Amazon's proposed second headquarters. North Texas submitted a regional pitch. [KERA News]
- Great Scott: Tomorrow is Hoverboard Safety Awareness Day in Texas. Here’s an explanation.
10/21/17 is officially Hoverboard Safety Awareness Day pic.twitter.com/CGMlTWjpNC
— Joe Moody (@moodyforelpaso) October 19, 2017
Photo: Joyce Marshall, Fort Worth Star-Telegram