Jersey City, Hoboken, and Princeton receive 100% rating in HRC Equality Index

Jersey City, NJ LGBT Pride 2018.
Jersey City, NJ LGBT Pride 2018. Photo by Tomato Pena and Zoltan Suhay.

Twelve towns receive high ratings—Jersey City rates 100% for the eighth consecutive year 

Two Hudson County municipalities had high marks in the latest LGBTQ city index ratings. Jersey City made the 100% rating for the eighth consecutive year and nearby Hoboken for the third year. Princeton, in Mercer County, was rated 100% for the second consecutive year. Nine other cities and towns earned ratings above 60% on the Municipality Equality Index for 2020 in the Garden State.

“We’ve worked to build a more inclusive and welcoming city and have become known as such with one of the largest LGBTQ communities in New Jersey,” Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said. “From signing an executive order to make all municipal bathroom’s gender neutral to becoming the first in the state to add transgender healthcare coverage for city employees, our progressive efforts continue to elevate our diverse community, and receiving another perfect score reaffirms our commitment as we have become a national model for promoting equality.”

In nearby Hoboken, a perfect 100% rating came for the third year in a row. “Even though we’re in the middle of a national pandemic, we still are focused on the values that make Hoboken the inclusive place it is today,” Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla said.

“I’m proud that Hoboken continues to serve as a national model for lifting up members of our LGBTQ+ community, as one of just three cities in New Jersey to achieve a perfect score. I’m appreciative to the many trailblazers who have helped us achieve this distinction, as we continue to tirelessly protect the rights of all of our LGBTQ+ residents in the years to come.”

Top 12 New Jersey towns rated for LGBTQ Equality
Top 12 New Jersey towns rated for LGBTQ Equality per HRC 2020 survey

“Hoboken has shown a commitment to creating a diverse, inclusive, and supportive environment for our LGBTQ+ residents,” Elizabeth Schedl, Executive Director of Hudson Pride Center, said. “Hudson Pride Center is proud to partner with the city to ensure that the needs of our community are being met. We once again celebrate and congratulate the city of Hoboken on another year with a perfect rating from the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.”

Only 94 cities across the country were able to earn a 100%

The Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index is an annual examination of policies relating to LGBTQ laws and cities in over 500 municipalities across the United States. Hoboken, Princeton, and Jersey City were the three municipalities in New Jersey to rate a perfect score at 100%. Only 94 cities across the country were able to earn a 100% rating from HRC.

“The results of this year’s Municipality Equality Index show definitive evidence that our local leaders across the nation are standing up for equality. But there is still much more that can be done,” Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said. “There is no question that the Trump administration made every effort to attack laws aimed to protect LGBTQ people, and our cities have responded with inclusivity and innovative public policy. Adopting the measures outlined in the MEI will not only help cultivate more united and safe communities, but it will foster economic growth by signaling to residents, visitors and outside investors that their region is welcoming to all.”

“As we come to the end of a truly unique year, this report on LGBTQ equality at the local level provides our community with hope—hope for the continued progress and resilience of the LGBTQ state-based movement. Its scores allow cities and the advocates on the ground to take stock of their progress, marking important steps forward to achieve equality for LGBTQ people and our families. It is critical that the work to advance protections for LGBTQ people continues at the state and local level,” Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director of Equality Federation Institute, said.

There is more to be done in New Jersey