Alaska’s three largest cities were included in the recent Municipal Equality Index. The survey is a scorecard that that evaluates the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
The results show that Alaska’s three largest cities have a lot of room for progress.
Juneau scored 23 points out 100 points. There was an additional 20 bonus points possible.
Juneau received credit for having domestic partner health benefits, legal dependent benefits and equivalent family leave. The city also received points for having a Human Rights Commission and anti-bullying school policies. Three bonus points were awarded for having openly LGBT elected or appointed municipal leaders.
Nearly 300 cities were involved with the survey which measured city laws, employment practices, services, law enforcement and relationships with the LGBT community.
25 cities included in the survey had perfect scores including Missoula, Atlanta, Austin and Phoenix.
The study does note that not all cities are able to enact laws or ordinances that the survey measures due to restrictive state laws.
The annual survey is a project of the Human Rights Campaign.
- Juneau Finance Director Bob Bartholomew projected Gov. Bill Walker’s veto of about half of dividend funds will cost the city.
- Only three votes now separate two northern Alaska House candidates. Dean Westlake of Kotzebue has 780 votes, ahead of 777 votes for incumbent Rep. Ben Nageak, who’s from Barrow.
- Bus passes, child-care assistance, work clothing and other resources to get low-income tribal members into jobs are being cut in seven Southeast Communities..
- The U.S. Northern Command and Coast Guard have launched a major field-training exercise off Alaska’s northwest coast. Arctic Chinook is intended to demonstrate how local, state and federal agencies would respond to a simulated cruise ship accident. Coincidentally, a big luxury cruise ship will sail through the area while the exercise is under way. And to further complicate things, bad weather has just set in.