State College Borough scored highly in a new report from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation on inclusivity of the LGBTQ community in laws, policies and services.
The borough received a score of 98 out of a possible 100 points in the 2018 Municipal Equality Index: A Nationwide Evaluation of Municipal Law. State College's score increased 21 points over the 77 the borough received in 2017.
Municipalities are scored based on non-discrimination laws, policies of the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and public positions on equality of local government leaders.
“State College is not only proud of the inclusivity of our community, but we are also grateful for the diversity of those who contribute to it," Mayor Don Hahn said in a news release. "This score helps affirm that equity, inclusion and justice are pillars of the State College community.”
State College increased its score through several actions by Borough Council over the past year, including establishment of gender-neutral bathrooms in the Municipal Building, creation of an advisory committee for LGBTQ matter and an ordinance prohibiting conversion therapy in the borough.
“As president of Council, I’ve had the great opportunity to work to pass resolutions and ordinances that confirm that the Borough of State College is a welcoming and diverse community," Borough Council President Evan Myers said. "This score shows that our work has helped to make the community more equitable, however, even more progress is needed. I and the rest of Council will continue our work on behalf of the community. I want to thank all the staff and members of our LGBTQ Advisory Committee that have worked on this project.”
The initiative was led by Kevin Kassab, community engagement manager and LGBTQ Liaison; Autumn Busbee, community engagement specialist; and Fanny Frias, community engagement intern; with support provided by the Borough’s Advisory Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Matters.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the nation's largest LGBTQ civil rights organization. The Municipal Equality Index is in its seventh year and evaluated 506 municipalities on 49 criteria.
See State College's 2018 Municipal Equality Index Scorecard here.