In the third annual Municipality Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign, each of the five Iowa cities measured scored above the national average.
To Donna Red Wing, Executive Director of One Iowa, this comes as no surprise.
“There’s a sense of fairness and decency that’s so much a part of who Iowans are. We changed the laws, our Supreme Court rules, and that's all extraordinary, but it really is about how the culture is changing how hearts and minds are changing. What we see here in Iowa is a real movement forward."
The index measured equality based on 47 categories in six broad groups: non-discrimination laws, relationship recognition, employment policies, inclusiveness of city services, law enforcement, and municipal leadership. Iowa City received a perfect score of 100, Davenport 86, Des Moines 85, Cedar Rapids 68, and even the lowest scored Sioux City, at 61, was 2 points more than the national average.
And the index might bring even more LGBT people here.
“Those issues, not only around safety but around whether or not this is a place that would welcome them, we get those calls all the time. […] Certainly a municipality index like this is extraordinarily helpful for the five cities that have been measured.”