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New report details South Bend's inclusivity of LGBTQ community

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- Thursday the Human Rights Commission released a report evaluating cities from coast to coast on their LGBTQ inclusive laws and policies.

The city of South Bend scored 78 out of 100 points—which you can see to my right is about 10 points above the state average and 20 points above the national average.

Cities were scored on the inclusivity of their governments various laws and policies to LGBTQ residents. South Bend’s score has increased 11 points since 2014.

“We’ve definitely improved. Overall this is a great example of the strides that South Bend has been making,” say Program Assistant with the LGBTQ Center, Derek McDowell.

The added points come from the mayor’s public stance on equality and the city reporting hate crimes to the FBI.

“Our community is stronger when everyone feels welcome. Inclusion remains one of the core values of my administration, and we’re continuing to work towards that goal through the South Bend Human Rights Commission and a strong City diversity and inclusion plan,” says Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

According to the report, cities with 100 points have LGBTQ liaisons on their police force and within the city government. They also have transgender inclusive health benefits.

“I’d love to see south bend be a 100 but more importantly I’d like to see Indiana creep up on the scale as a whole,” says McDowell.

Laws in cities like South Bend leading the way for the state is nothing new, according to the man who wrote the report Xavier Persad.

“Indiana represents what we see nationally as this part of the finding of this report which is cities continue to lead the way on equality and this is so important, more important today than ever. In a political climate where state officials are working to rollback hard one rights where we’ve seen unprecedented rollback of lgbtq protections on the federal level--were encouraged to see city officials doubling down on their fight for equality and continue progress on the local level,” says Persad. 

The report does not account for community efforts towards equality. The LGBTQ Center will host a fundraiser on Sunday at Jeannies from 2 p.m.- 5 p.m.

To view the full report, click here.

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