Report grades Md. cities on LGBT rights, inclusiveness

In a year that saw the Supreme Court make marriage equality the law of the land, eight Maryland municipalities received an average score of 70 out of 100 when it comes to the state of equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens in a new report.

The Human Rights Campaign looked at Annapolis, Baltimore, Bowie, College Park, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Rockville and Towson for the 2015 Municipal Equality Index, which rates LGBT inclusion in law and policy. The cities were chosen because of their size, proportion of same-sex couples or presence of a large university, among other factors.

Baltimore was the only city to receive a perfect score, with points for extending benefits and protections to LGBT employees, services for youth and the homeless and a police liaison or task force, according to the report. The city also received points for having openly LGBT elected or appointed leaders, which was correlated with higher overall scores.

Bowie received the lowest score, 54 out of 100, with no discrimination protections for city employees based on gender identity, no LGBT liaison with the mayor’s office and no public position from leaders on LGBT equality.

Every city received the maximum points for non-discrimination laws related to employment, housing and public accommodations because of Maryland’s statewide legislation on those subjects.