Looking Out: Baltimore to receive award for LGBT equality ranking

Baltimore will be honored for its pro-LGBT policies Thursday night by the Human Rights Campaign.

Back in November, we reported that Baltimore was among just 25 cities across the country to receive top marks for LGBT equality in municipal policies, according to an analysis by the Human Rights Campaign.

The organization's Municipality Equality Index rated 291 cities nationwide on issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, from whether same-sex marriage was allowed to whether employment protections were in place.


Tonight, HRC officials will be honoring Baltimore's achievement -- scoring a 100, the most possible -- at a 6 p.m. event at Birroteca, located at 1520 Clipper Road.

"It is clear that Baltimore is a leader for equality and this achievement deserves to be celebrated," the HRC said in its announcement of the event, noting the city has improved its score in recent years.


Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who supports LGBT equality, has served in the past as grand marshal of Baltimore Pride and has married same-sex couples in City Hall -- will accept the "Top Municipality for LGBT Equality Award" on behalf of the city.


- Today is "Give OUT Day 2014," an annual day of national giving to LGBT causes. Local organizations in Maryland are taking part, in case you're feeling generous. You can give to Chase Brexton Health Care here to help its efforts to continue to grow its LGBT Health Resource Center, or to Equality Maryland here as it gears up to fight an effort to put new transgender protections in Maryland up to a ballot vote. (Gov. Martin O'Malley signed the legislation today.)

- Here's a full schedule for films at the Bmore QFest next month, in case you want to start planning ahead.

- The school board in Montgomery County gave its approval Tuesday for an update on lessons on sexual orientation in schools, "clearing the way for a plan to introduce the topic a year earlier in middle school and put an end to tightly scripted methods of teaching," according to The Washington Post.

- Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told ABC News that the military's ban on transgender soldiers "continually should be reviewed." There is video here.

- Speaking of which, the military is also considering transferring transgender soldier Chelsea Manning to a civilian prison to facilitate her receiving hormone therapy. Manning is serving 35 years in prison for leaking secret files to WikiLeaks.