The Washington, DC-based Human Rights Campaign released its 2018 “State Equality Index” (SEI) last Friday and, to the surprise of no one, North Carolina was ranked at the bottom of the national pack, along with 27 other states that, for the most part, have nowhere to go but up when it comes to this critical aspect of human rights.
This is from the release that accompanied the report:
The SEI assesses statewide LGBTQ-related legislation and policies in the areas of parenting laws and policies, relationship recognition and religious refusal laws, non-discrimination laws and policies, hate crime laws, youth-related laws and policies and health and safety laws and policies. Based on that review, the SEI assigns states to one of four distinct categories:
- Thirteen states and the District of Columbia are in the highest-rated category, “Working Toward Innovative Equality”: California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington
- Five states are in the category “Solidifying Equality”: Delaware, Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico
- Five states are in the category “Building Equality”: Hawaii, Indiana, New Hampshire, Utah, Wisconsin
- Twenty-Seven states are in the lowest-rated category “High Priority to Achieve Basic Equality”: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming
HRC’s full State Equality Index report, including detailed scorecards for every state; a comprehensive review of 2017 state legislation; and a preview of the 2018 state legislative session is available online at www.hrc.org/sei.
The report gave North Carolina a zero for its lack of forward-looking policies in eight categories:
Housing – State does not prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Employment – State does not prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Hate Crimes – State does not have a law that addresses hate or bias crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Public Accommodations – State does not prohibit discrimination in public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Education – State does not have a law that addresses discrimination against students based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Transgender Healthcare – State has neither a ban on insurance exclusions for transgender healthcare nor does it provide transgender-inclusive health benefits to state employees.
Gender Marker Change On Identification Documents -State has no laws or policies that facilitate a gender marker change on either driver’s licenses or birth certificates.
Conversion Therapy -This state has no restrictions on so-called “conversion therapy.”
Click here to read a detailed report card on North Carolina.