Montclair Earns 100% on LGBTQIA+ Inclusivity

Montclair Earns 100% on LGBTQIA+ Inclusivity
Posted on 11/18/2021
Montclair Earns 100% on LGBTQIA+ inclusivity

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBTQIA+ civil rights organization, announced today that that Montclair has, for the first time, received a score of 100% on the organization’s  Municipal Equality Index (MEI). The perfect score marks a huge increase over the Township’s 2020 score of 78/100.

The MEI measures different aspects of LGBTQIA+ inclusivity in municipalities around the country. Cities and towns are rated on their non-discrimination laws, services, law enforcement, employment policies, and their leadership's public position on equality.

“This is incredible news for Montclair and yet another testament to who we are as a township and the values we cherish and share,” said Councilor-at-Large Peter Yacobellis. “It puts us on par with Jersey City, Hoboken and Princeton and, I believe, sends a clear message to all that everyone who lives, works, and visits our Township is welcome and valued in our community.”

“Over the past year the Township took great strides to advance LGBTQIA+ equality by adopting laws and creating policies that protect everyone,” said Montclair Mayor Sean Spiller. "Achieving the top score in the Human Rights Campaign 2021 Municipal Equality Index only further demonstrates Montclair's position as a truly inclusive and diverse place to live. By advancing LGBTQIA+ equality, we make Montclair a more welcoming community for people of all gender identities, by promoting gender equity through the actions we take as a Council."

Montclair's MEI score greatly improved through several measures Township Council took to codify inclusivity. The following ordinances were adopted this year: 

  • Third-Party Contracting Non-Discrimination Ordinance – requires all third-party bidding and contracts to include protection on the basis sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. 
  • Employment non-discrimination ordinance – prohibits discrimination in hiring, appointing, and assigning duties and positions based on gender identity or expression.
  • Ordinance Concerning Unisex Restrooms – requires the provision of all-gender single-occupancy restrooms in all business establishments (including offices and office buildings), places of public accommodation, and municipally owned buildings or facilities in Montclair, together with appropriate signage; where publicly accessible single-occupancy facilities already exist or will be constructed in the future.

Council also passed a resolution earlier this year in support of New Jersey’s legislation protecting minors from attempts to change sexual orientation.

“I am grateful to Mayor Spiller for his unwavering support from the very beginning for the Municipal Services committee to endeavor to pursue all of the changes over the years, not to mention his support in the prior Governing Body for various actions that helped raise our score from 58 in 2018 to where we are today,” said Councilor Yacobellis.

The MEI is the only nationwide assessment of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law, policy, and services. For more information on the Municipal Equality Index visit

To view Montclair’s 2021 MEI scorecard, follow this link: MontclairNJ-MEI-2021