North Carolina needs to improve on LGBTQ inclusivity according to an annual report on state laws, policies, and services.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the Equality Federation Institute just released its annual State Equality Index. North Carolina joins half the states in the nation with a rating of “high priority to achieve basic equality.” 

This is the lowest of the report's four categories.

States with this ranking are said to have laws considered anti-LGBTQ. They have room for improvement when it comes to hate crime laws, transgender health care, anti-bullying policies, parenting and adoption laws, and bans on conversion therapy.

The study does show that while the 2020 legislative session was unusual in light of the pandemic, more states passed pro-equality laws than anti-equality laws — though there was still a healthy mix of both introduced.

The report suggests that advocates focus on municipalities to further LGBTQ protections.

Greensboro recently joined Durham, Carrboro, Hillsborough, and Chapel Hill, in expanding and reinstating LGBTQ protections that had been nullified by the state.

Winston-Salem leaders have indicated that they might introduce similar ordinances but have not made any commitments. 

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