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Dallas city council committee advances ‘statement of support’ for LGBT residents

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
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DALLAS — A Dallas City Council committee on Tuesday voted in favor of a “comprehensive statement of support” for its LGBT employees and residents in an effort to address inequalities in city employment, healthcare and lobbying efforts.

Dallas, Texas

Dallas, Texas

The measure, approved 4-1 by the Budget, Finance & Audit Committee, now goes to the full City Council.

According to Lone Star Q, the resolution itself doesn’t call for specific action, but would direct staff to work on several areas, including disparate treatment of LGBT employees when it comes to pensions and benefits; improving the city’s score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI); and lobbying for pro-equality state and federal legislation.

The MEI’s author, Cathryn Oakley, testified at the committee meeting about the MEI and the opportunities that Dallas has to increase its score.

The Municipal Equality Index examines the laws, policies, and services of municipalities and rates them on the basis of their inclusivity of LGBT people who live and work in the community.

Any specific changes to city policy would still need to be considered by the council, predicated on the full council’s approval of the measure.

Dallas scored an 81 on last year’s second annual MEI, up from a 76 the year before, but still below Austin (100), Fort Worth (91) and San Antonio (86).

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