According to a press release from the city, Hoboken has received a score of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Municipal Equality Index (MEI), an annual examination of more than 500 municipalities, rating them on how inclusive local laws, policies, and services are of LGBTQ residents and employees.
2018 marks the first time Hoboken has received a perfect score. In 2017, Hoboken received a 92.
“I’m proud to see Hoboken recognized as a welcoming and inclusive city for the LGBTQ+ community,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla in the release. “When I began my term on January 1, I made it a priority to build on former Mayor Zimmer’s work towards equal protection under the law for all. While the work we’ve done this year is important, a score of 100 is not the end goal. I will continue to advance policies designed to correct centuries of institutional disenfranchisement.”
New policies Mayor Bhalla introduced in 2018, such as the gender-neutral bathroom ordinance and the non-discrimination executive order for contractors, helped put Hoboken’s score over the top, the release said.
In August 2018, Hudson Pride Center awarded Mayor Bhalla the Evolution Award for being on the forefront of adopting policies that keep up with society’s evolving understanding of gender and sexuality. 2018 also saw the inaugural Hoboken Pride Week as part of first-ever Hudson Pride Month and the selection of Laura Knittel as Hoboken’s LGBTQ Community Liaison.