The Human Rights Campaign released the 2023 Municipal Equality Index, and San Jose 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, and 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, San Jose earned a score of 100 out of 100. That’s three points higher than last year’s score of 97 out of 100. Here’s a breakdown of how we got here… and how that score might change.
This category looks at whether LGBTQ+ discrimination is prohibited by law in areas of employment, housing, and public accommodation. San Jose achieved a 30 out of 30 for our laws across the state, county, and municipality, and received bonus points for single-occupancy all-gender facilities and protections against youth conversion therapy.
Municipality as employer
Cities can achieve points for inclusive employment policies like trans-inclusive healthcare policies and non-discrimination in city employment. San Jose got a 26 out of 28. (We lost two points in the “inclusive workplace” subcategory.)
Services and programs
This section considers the city’s efforts to include LGBTQ+ folks in city services and programs. San Jose scored 7 out of 12. We gained two extra bonus points since last year for providing services to LGBTQ+ youth.
Looking at the relationship between law enforcement and the LGBTQ+ community, San Jose earned 22 out of 22.
Leadership on LGBTQ+ equality
This section looks at city leadership’s commitment to advocacy and inclusion. San Jose got an 8 out of 8.
We gained two more bonus points than last year for having an openly LGBTQ+ leader.
Other studies like this
The HRC isn’t the only organization tracking San Jose’s inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community. Explore these locally conducted studies for comparison:
- This 2022 transgender, nonbinary, and gender expansive employment study conducted by Santa Clara County’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs
- San Jose City College’s Campus Pride Index
- Equality California Institute’s Safe and Supportive Schools Report Card — which gave high marks to the Santa Clara and San Jose Unified School districts.
San Jose would achieve a higher score from the HRC with efforts like having an LGBTQ+ liaison in the city executive’s office and 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.