BR’s LGBT community questions results of ‘equality index’
Members of the Baton Rouge LGBT community are raising questions about the “2012 Municipal Equality Index,” a new report from the Human Rights Campaign.
The HRC, the country’s largest LGBT advocacy organization, gathered data on more than 100 U.S. metro areas on their laws and policies regarding gays and lesbians, and presented each city with a score from 0 to 100. Only two cities in Louisiana were evaluated, and Baton Rouge scored 2 out of 100 — one of the worst scores in the nation. (In contrast, New Orleans received a 79, while Jackson, Miss., got an 8 — six points higher than Baton Rouge. Lafayette wasn’t evaluated.)
“I think our score should have been about a 12 — but a 12 is still not good,” Bruce Parker, the managing director of Equality for Louisiana, said Monday morning. “The mayor [Baton Rouge mayor Kip Holden] has an executive order protecting [city] employees based on sexual orientation.” Parker also said Holden has a good working relationship with the Red Stick gay community, and that while a state representative, Holden voted against the constitutional amendment that banned both same-sex marriage and civil unions in Louisiana.
Matthew Patterson, chair of the education and advocacy committee for Baton Rouge’s Capital City Alliance, said the HRC did not contact his group for data. Patterson also questions the group’s findings, pointing out the mayor’s non-discrimination order (which didn’t seem to affect the survey numbers) but said, “We certainly don’t have substantive legal protection in place.”
As for how numbers like those of the HRC affect the business world, Patterson said, “The sheer number of Fortune 500 companies who have passed protection is amazing. I think the data is clear across the country — cities that are more open, it affects the economy in really positive ways. These things aren’t just about protecting one or two people.”
According to a note in the report, “All cities rated were provided their scorecard in advance of publication and given the opportunity to submit revisions,” but to whom the results were provided isn’t spelled out. The authors of the Municipal Equality Index hadn’t returned an email request for comment on their methodology by press time. Go here to read and download a copy of the report.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
OCT 29 Manny Schewitz blogs on Forward Progressives about recent Facebook posts from David Vitter, including one that purports to take you to a petition to stop Ebola (say what?) but actually signs you up for his newsletter or campaign email list or some such nonsense. Dave must think we're dummies, Manny says -- and Dave's probably right.
OCT 29 Salon's Elias Isquith writes this fairly hilarious commentary on a National Review post about Bobby Jindal's attempts to "beef up" in preparation for a presidential run. But it's not just funny; Isquith seems to have Bobby's number, commenting on how the Gov "and his team are hopelessly ensconced in the Tea Party bubble."
OCT 29 Usually, the copy on Red Shtick is satire. But in this post "from the publisher," we get a pretty astute political analysis of Edwin Edwards' charisma and old-school populist swagger. Edwards isn't concealing billionaire backers, or trying to make his opponent out to be "Satan," the post says. He's just running. Huh; imagine that.
OCT 29 Recently we were reading a post on Politico from a BP PR flack who said Bobby Jindal did more to damage the Gulf than BP did. Here's the counterpoint to that editorial, from the interim director of the Ocean Conservancy's Gulf Restoration Program. She ought to know, right?
OCT 29 Vance McAllister may beat the odds next week, and turn out to be more than a flash in the pan, columnist Stephanie Grace opines in this post on the Advocate. The guy's running as a realist, which is attractive -- especially to Democrats, she says.
OCT 29 Blogger Ian McGibboney is writing about writing in this post - in anticipation of November, which is national Novel Writing Month. In particular, he's critical of those who poo-poo the annual event; granted it can get annoying if you know anyone who is posting constant updates, he says, but that's no reason to discourage writers from trying.
OCT 29 Here's an interesting one from blogger Rod Dreher. He's discussing the current state of Christian political thought, with some input from friends. It is thought-provoking, even if you don't mix your religion and your politics.
OCT 29 The Business Insider Australia posts this (inexplicable) story about the Edwin Edwards campaign signs. The star looks a lot like John McCain's star, the Australian publication opines. (K, seriously? Australia is keeping track of this for us?) It includes an interview with Trina Edwards, EWE's Republican wife, who designed them.
OCT 28 LSU student Logan Anderson writes about racism at LSU in this post, zeroing in on a popular tailgating decoration. A purple-and-gold version of the Confederate flag is pretty common, but gave this student a rude awakening at his first tailgate visit.
OCT 28 Phil Robertson, head duck person, is using his go-to topics in campaign ads for his nephew, this post on Inquisitr tells us: Bibles and guns. And that's dead-on, because if there is one thing Jesus is all about, it's killing stuff. That's all over the Bible, right? Shoot thy neighbor?
OCT 28 It's time to raise the minimum wage, this editorial from Gambit argues. Since Louisiana uses the federal minimum wage level, a change to that law is the only way our lowest-paid workers will see an increase, the editorial argues. What's a good figure? Gambit says the same one Mitch Landrieu uses for NOLA workers, and the President has proposed: $10.10 an hour.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly