Sandy Springs has scored low—22 out of a possible 100—on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual rating of how well cities protect and support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents.

The “Municipal Equality Index” rates a city’s LGBT laws and policies in five categories: non-discrimination laws, municipal employment policies, municipal services, law enforcement and general relationship with the LGBT community.

A total of 10 Georgia cities or areas were ranked, with Atlanta receiving a perfect score and none of the others rating higher than 44. Roswell rated an 11.

Sandy Springs did rate perfect scores on the subcategories of employment non-discrimination laws. Earlier this year, the city tightened its non-discrimination policy to protect LGBT people in all aspects of city business. That policy change was pushed by City Councilmember Andy Bauman following debate over a failed state “religious liberty” law widely criticized as permitting discrimination against LGBT people.

“Our policies reflect an overarching philosophy of inclusion,” said city spokesperson Sharon Kraun.

The Municipal Equality Index report highlights the economic benefits of strong LGBT rights laws and policies.

“Diversity is not just an ethical imperative. It is an economic driver,” writes business professor and journalist Richard Florida in the report’s introduction. “Studies affirm time and time again that diversity and inclusion spur economic growth.”

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John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

3 replies on “Sandy Springs rates low on annual LGBT policy rating”

  1. I know you won’t print this comment, but at least I will have my say about this issue: Get a grip! What are we supposed to do with these people? They work, live, play, dine, shop and everything else like everyone else. Why do we have to make “special” concessions? They are not being persecuted. What is wrong with you idiots running Sandy Springs? Are we supposed to wave gay-pride flags everywhere and have parades? Why? They want to be treated as equals; calling attention to yourself to be treated “specially” is not assimilating into mainline culture. I am so sick of Sandy Springs and what has happened to it and I’m sick to death of political correctness. The day is coming soon when I will be leaving SS and shaking the dust off my feet. I hope I will never have to return to this god-forsaken state and city.

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