Downtown El Paso Railroad Arches to Light Up in Rainbow Colors in Honor of Orlando Shooting Victims

When it comes to El Paso and its gay citizens, the city fails at providing enough support.

The Human Rights Campaign has released their 2016 report on 506 cities from every state in the nation. El Paso ranked 57 out of a possible 100 points, according to the Municipal Equality Index (MEI), which examines how “inclusive municipal laws, policies, and services are of the LGBTQ people who live and work there.”

The cities are rated based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and the city leadership’s public position on equality.

When it comes to El Paso, the city received 10 out of 30 possible points for non-discrimination laws, and 12 out of 24 possible points for fair law enforcement in the community. One section asks if the city has a dedicated LGBTQ police liaison or task force. El Paso does not.

“Fair enforcement of the law includes… engaging with the LGBTQ community in a thoughtful and respectful way,” the report said.

When it comes to government and the people that represent gay El Pasoans, the city fails again. There is no pro-equality legislative or policy efforts coming from any El Paso city representative, according to the report. However, the city received points for being openly supportive of gay El Pasoans. A look into the city of El Paso as a place for business and employment, there is no city contractor non-discrimination ordinance in place. The city also does not provide transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits.

“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,” says the report.

And finally, the Mayor’s office does not have a LGBTQ Liaison, responsible for including gay constituents into city services and programs. When compared to nearby cities, Albuquerque scored 74, Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin all received 100. Laredo scored the lowest at 6 points.

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