The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, an educational entity of the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released its annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI) Scorecard rating the City of Cathedral City with a perfect score of 100. This is the highest recognition by HRC and comes after a thorough review of Cathedral City policies and practices including having both a police department liaison as well as a city executive officer liaison for the LGBTQ community.
The MEI scorecard examined the laws, policies, and services of municipalities and rated them on the basis of their inclusivity of LGBTQ people who live and work there. The HRC Foundation’s Scorecard rated 506 municipalities throughout the United States with at least one municipality in each of the 50 states. Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City’s adjacent neighbors, were the only other cities in the Coachella Valley to receive a perfect score out of the nine Valley cities.
The LGBT population within Cathedral City continues to increase in size as recent studies estimate that nearly 30% of Cathedral City residents identify themselves as being part of the LGBTQ community. Notably, two of Cathedral City’s five members of council identify themselves as being part of the LGBTQ community.
“Receiving HRC’s highest recognition confirms our city’s commitment to equality,” stated Mayor John Aguilar. “Throughout our history, Cathedral City has been a safe haven for the LGBTQ community to live, work, and visit and that is why my husband and I call it home.”
The city council of Cathedral City has been supportive of the LGBT community by hosting the Cathedral City LGBT Days festival during the last weekend in March as one of the City’s signature events. It was also the first city in the Coachella Valley to pass an municipal ordinance mandating single stall public restrooms in Cathedral City to be re-classified as “gender-neutral,” fly a rainbow flag at City Hall, and create a “Rainbow Crossing” named after the late Mayor Gregory S. Pettis, the first openly gay elected official in Riverside County.