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Keeping It 100: State College Excels In LGBTQ+ Inclusivity Once Again

State College is one of 110 locations in the country to receive a perfect score on the latest Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, which examines how inclusive laws, policies, and services are for LGBTQ+ individuals.

The borough’s latest index score checked in high above the nation’s 67-point average.

In 2017, Kevin Kassab, State College’s delegated LGBTQ+ liaison and Office of Community Engagement director, created an LGBTQ Advisory Committee after the borough received a score of 73. Some of the changes brought about by the committee include a ban on conversion therapy for minors, new Pride flags downtown, an increase in gender-neutral bathrooms, and health benefits for people of transgender identity. In the following years, State College would see its score rise to 98, then stay at a constant 100 for the next three.

The Municipal Equality Index rates the cities with the two largest public universities and the five biggest municipalities in each state, 75 municipalities with high numbers of same-sex couples, 98 cities selected by members and supporters of the organization, and the country’s largest 200 cities on 49 different factors. These factors fall under five categories: employer municipality, non-discrimination laws, law enforcement, LGBTQ+ leadership equality, and municipal services. While State College actually finished with 106 points thanks to some bonus points, the organization does not allow for scores higher than 100.

Ten municipalities in the commonwealth were rated in the latest index. Among those, Erie, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh earned the “All-Star” designation for scoring an 85 or above.

As always, we can’t suggest that State College is flawless. However, with every year, it seems Happy Valley is growing more and more inclusive for the LGBTQ+ community.

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About the Author

Vikram Raj

Vikram, who goes by Vik, is a first-year student from Rockland County, NY. He is majoring in psychology and English (for now) and is a writer for Onward State. Vik is an avid lover of all things music, film, and poetry. Most days, you can find Vik partying a bit too hard, or spending a bit too much — unless you're his parents, then you can find him studying avidly.

Send your compliments to @vikkraj over Instagram and your complaints to [email protected] over email.

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