This year, for the first time, Milwaukee has achieved a perfect score on the Municipal Equality Index. The MEI looks at how LGBTQ friendly a city’s laws, policies and services are.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett stresses the importance of this report and Milwaukee’s progress: "When we send that message that we are an inclusive city, we are sending a message of love and understanding and respect — and that’s important for us to do."
The report cites Milwaukee’s recently passed legislation that banned conversion therapy — a controversial therapy practice that tries to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
So, what do these changes mean for Milwaukee LGBTQ residents? Xavier Persad, author of the MEI, says that if you’re a person who is LGBTQ, Milwaukee has granted you certain protections.
"You should know that you are fully protected as a resident from being fired from your job because of who you are or who you love," said Persad. "From being kicked out of public spaces or denied services because you are LGBTQ. Or from being denied housing or financing."
Persad says if you feel you’ve been discriminated against, you can contact the Milwaukee Equal rights commission.