Raleigh is behind several of its North Carolina peers – and the national average – on a nationwide ranking of LGBT inclusion in municipal law conducted by Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest gay, bisexual and transgender rights organization.
The study rated North Carolina’s six largest cities based on their nondiscrimination policies, benefits for LGBT city employees and outreach to the LGBT community.
Durham got the highest rating in the state with 56 points. Charlotte came in second with 51 points, with Raleigh following at 43 points – still ahead of Fayetteville, Greensboro and Winston-Salem. The national average was 57 points.
How did Durham and Charlotte get the edge over the City of Oaks? For one, Raleigh doesn’t specifically include transgender people in its nondiscrimination policy – though it’s a change Raleigh is considering at the request of former city council candidate Brian Fitzsimmons. Raleigh also doesn’t offer health benefits for domestic partners, according to the study.
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But Raleigh did score points where other cities didn’t: the study found that Raleigh “maintains a public position on LGBT equality” and is “pro-equality despite a restrictive state law.”