Other state cities did not fair as well
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Dec. 17, 2015) — Louisville has earned a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign scorecard—called the Municipal Equality Index—among the first southern cities to achieve the honor, and the only one in Kentucky. Lexington received a 73, followed by Frankfort (58), Covington (57), Owensboro (20) and Bowling Green (17).
MEI rates cities based on 41 criteria that fall into five broad categories:
- Non-discrimination laws
- Municipal employment policies, including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage and non-discrimination requirements for contractors
- Inclusiveness of city services
- Law enforcement, including hate crimes reporting
- Municipal leadership on matters of equality
“This honor reflects our commitment to compassion, fairness and equality,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “It highlights our belief in the fundamental interconnectedness of all, our belief that everyone has the right to be treated with respect.”
The Human Rights Campaign began in 1980 and is now the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. It represents a force of more than 1.5 million members and supporters.
Fischer said the HRC ranking is also a boost to the city’s economic development efforts, given that cities that are inclusive are increasingly winning in the competition for residents, businesses and employees.
Fischer applauded the work of all city workers and staff for its work in human rights, but especially the Metro Louisville Human Relations Commission, whose mission is to promote unity, understanding and equal opportunity among all people of Louisville Metro, and to eliminate all forms of bigotry, bias, and hatred from the community.
He also praised the Louisville Metro Police Department, which last spring worked with The Fairness Campaign to offer its first LGBT Citizens Police Academy, which was designed to increase understanding and trust between police and the community and impart knowledge to increase LGBT community safety.
“Time and again, Kentucky cities are helping lead the way in LGBT inclusion in the South, but our work is far from over,” said Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman. “Even though we’ve nearly tripled the number of Kentucky cities with Fairness Ordinances since 2013, nearly three-quarters of Kentuckians are still vulnerable to legal discrimination without a statewide Fairness Law, meaning folks could still be fired from a job, denied a place to live, or refused service at a restaurant. That’s not fair and it’s not the Kentucky we know—a commonwealth that values hard work, determination, fairness, and judging folks on a job well done rather than who they are or whom they love.”