Dive into Austin’s 2023 Municipal Equality Index score

Why Austin scored 100 out of 100 in the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.

A photo of the Austin skyline with purple flowers in the foreground.

Austin also received a perfect score on the same list in 2021.

Photo by 4kodiak

Table of Contents

The Human Rights Campaign released the 2023 Municipal Equality Index, and Austin is on the list. How did we score?

Each year, the Human Rights Campaign releases a Municipal Equality Index, which takes a deep dive into municipal laws, policies, services, and how inclusive they are of LGBTQ+ people. This year’s edition examined 506 cities on 49 different criteria across five categories: non-discrimination laws, municipality as employer, services and programs, law enforcement, and leadership on LGBTQ+ equality.

Based on these criteria, Austin earned a score of 100 out of 100. In case you missed it, that’s the same as last year’s score. Here’s a breakdown of how we got here… and how that score might change.

Non-discrimination laws

This category looks at whether LGBTQ+ discrimination is prohibited by law in areas of employment, housing, and public accommodation. Austin achieved a 30 out of 30 for our laws across the state, county, and municipality.

Municipality as employer

Cities can achieve points for inclusive employment policies like trans-inclusive healthcare policies and non-discrimination in city employment. Austin got a 23 out of 28.

Since last year, our score lowered in the subcategory addressing transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits.

Services and programs

This section considers the city’s efforts to include LGBTQ+ folks in city services and programs. Austin scored 12 out of 12, and got bonus points for city-offered services like those offered to people living with HIV or AIDS.

Law enforcement

Looking at the relationship between law enforcement and the LGBTQ+ community, Austin earned 22 out of 22.

Leadership on LGBTQ+ equality

This section looks at city leadership’s commitment to advocacy and inclusion. Austin got an 8 out of 8.

Other studies like this

The HRC isn’t the only organization tracking Austin’s inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community. Explore these locally conducted studies for comparison:

Looking ahead

Even a perfect score doesn’t mean a perfect city. Austin earned its score with bonus points and would achieve a higher score from the HRC with a few extra efforts. For example, our city would achieve a higher score from the HRC by reinstating last year’s transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits for employees, offering services to the transgender community and LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness.

If you want to get involved, here are some local organizations that support the LGBTQ+ community.