Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Commission on Human Relations Chair and Commissioner Mona Noriega announced the latest recognition of the City’s efforts to ensure inclusion and protections for Chicago’s LGBTQ community with Chicago receiving a 100-point rating in the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Municipal Equality Index. The study ranks cities based on how inclusive their municipal laws, policies and services are for LGBTQ residents and workers.
“LGBTQ rights are human rights, and I am proud that our efforts to promote equality and dignity for all Chicagoans has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign,” Mayor Emanuel said. “Chicago will always be an inclusive city and the best place to call home for all people, no matter who they are, how they identify, or who they love.”
“I want to thank the Human Rights Campaign for completing the seventh annual edition of the Municipal Equality Index. Chicago is proud to be recognized for our efforts and will wear our 100-point rating as a badge of honor,” Commissioner Noriega said. “I encourage any member of our LGBTQ community who experiences discrimination of any kind to contact the Chicago Commission on Human Relations online, by phone, or in person.”
The HRC ranking follows a series of measures by the City of Chicago to increase inclusion and protections of its LGBT community during Mayor Emanuel’s tenure. In 2016, the City’s Human Rights Ordinance was updated to offer public accommodation protections to all equally. Additionally, several city departments work directly with city employees and residents to help ensure Chicago’s LGBT community continues to thrive. The Chicago Commission on Human Relations works to enforce anti-discrimination laws across the city and ensures individuals are protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. Earlier this year, the Chicago Department of Public Health released its first LGBT health report card. The Chicago Park District provides LGBT awareness training for all recreation staff who interact with park participants, helping ensure every resident is welcome at city facilities. The Chicago Public School curriculum is inclusive of LGBT and queer identities and provides training for staff to institute safe spaces, help LGBTQ students feel valued and teach other students to welcome diversity.