Most Of Mountain West Receives Low Rating On LGBTQ Scorecard

Feb 4, 2019

When it comes to legal protections for the LGBTQ community, most of our region got a failing grade from the Human Rights Campaign's latest State Equality Index.

Of four possible grades, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana were all in the bottom with a "high priority to achieve basic equality." Utah did slightly better with a "building equality," while Colorado led the pack receiving the best possible score with a "working toward innovative equality."

Cathryn Oakley co-authored the report.

"Unfortunately there continues to be rampant discrimination against LGBTQ people in a variety of areas of public life," she said.

Oakley said that includes things like employment, housing, and public accommodation. For the report, the HRC also looked at the less obvious ways that states might lack protections for LGBTQ residents.

"We also look at anti-bullying laws," said Oakley. "We look into second-parent adoption laws. We look at hate crimes."

Right now, the HRC and other groups are pushing Congress to pass an Equality Act to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They want it to include protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.