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Oxford Scores No. 3 Spot in State for LGBTQ Inclusion, Ranks Low Overall

By Talbert Toole
Lifestyles Editor

Photo via the Human Rights Campaign website.

The Human Rights Campaign released its 2018 Municipal Equality Index (MEI)—the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law, policy and services—on Oct. 8, which ranked Oxford third in the state of Mississippi. However, Oxford’s high state-level ranking was low in comparison to the overall MEI score with a score of 17 out of 100 points in regards to municipal law, policy and services for its LGBTQ community.

The MEI scored more than 500 cities across the U.S. which included 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities in the U.S., the five largest cities or municipalities in each state, the cities home to each state’s two largest public universities, 75 municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples and 98 cities selected by HRC and Equality Federation state group members and supporters.

Photo via HRC website.

The score card was broken down into five sections: non-discrimination law, municipality as employer, municipal services, law enforcement, and leadership for LGBTQ equality.

Oxford gained its 17 points in the municipality as employer section (14 points) and leadership on LGBTQ equality (3 points) section for non-discrimination in city employment and leadership’s public opinion on LGBTQ equality, respectively. 

The city of Oxford passed a resolution March 4, 2014 which recognized the dignity and worth of its LGBTQ citizens. The resolution was signed under Oxford’s previous mayor Pat Patterson. It reads that “the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Oxford declare it the policy of the City to reject discrimination of any kind and to respect the inherent worth of every person without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, sexual orientation, family status, veteran status, disability or source of income.”

Jackson (65 points) and Hattiesburg (33 points) scored the highest in the state, with the capital scoring the national average by the HRC. Southaven scored last (0) in the nine cities that were evaluated in the Magnolia State. 

Seventy-eight cities scored perfect scores, according the MEI.

For more information on the Human Rights Campaign’s MEI, visit this year’s report.

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