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Study: Decatur Lags Avondale Estates, Atlanta in LGBT-Supporting Policies

Decatur enjoys a strong reputation for being a gay-friendly city with policies that support equality.

But one study suggests Decatur lags its two municipal neighbors in that regard.

The Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index, released Monday, sought to gauge how cities support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered residents and workers in those communities.

Decatur, one of 291 cities reviewed in the study, received an overall score of 27 out of 100. In comparison, Avondale Estates received a 56, while Atlanta received 100.

Municipalities were judged and scored on several factors including non-discrimination policies in their city codes, recognition of marriage equality and non-discrimination in municipal employment.

For example, Decatur received 0 points out of a possible 18 because the city, along with DeKalb County and Georgia at the state level, has no non-discrimination laws in housing, employment and public accommodations with respect to the LGBT community.

In comparison, Avondale Estates scored a zero in that category, too, but Atlanta, which has enacted legislation against discrimination in those sectors, received 18 out of 18.

To be sure, Decatur fared better than many cities in the Deep South states, which, similar to their historical stance against the Civil Rights Movement, have enacted legislation to designed to curb gay rights.

Jackson, Miss., for example, received an overall score of 17 out of 100, while Jacksonville, Fla. received a 25 and Birmingham, Ala. received a 9.

Here are how the the cities in Georgia that Human Rights Campaign reviewed fared:

  • Atlanta — 100
  • Avondale Estates — 56
  • Athens — 44
  • Decatur — 27
  • Columbus — 20
  • North Druid Hills — 15
  • Augusta-Richmond County — 12

This year's report rated a total of 291 cities from every state and commonwealth in the country, representing a total population total of 77.8 million. You can also download the full 2013 MEI report here.

Beth Wilson November 26, 2013 at 08:24 AM
That is very disappointing that Decatur has such a low score. The city does not seem to be living up to its long reputation as a gay and lesbian welcoming place.

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