Eight Kentucky cities ranked
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 18, 2016) — For the second year in a row, Louisville has earned a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign scorecard, which says the city remains a “beacon of hope” in terms of ensuring that all residents are treated equally regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The scorecard measures laws, services and leadership that promote the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. Last year’s index showed Louisville had doubled its previous score by making serious policy strides beyond its Fairness ordinance, which was first enacted in 1999 and bars discrimination in housing and hiring practices.
Lexington scored a 71, Covington 63, Morehead 59, Frankfort 52, Berea 32, Owensboro 18 and Bowling Green 17. The average score for cities in Kentucky is 52, below the national average of 55.
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.
In a news release announcing the rankings, HRC lauded Louisville as being one of 37 cities that are fueling equality despite being in a state that lacks non-discrimination protections.
“This year, dozens of cities across the nation showed they are willing to stand up for LGBTQ people in their communities even when some state governments are not,” Chad Griffin, HRC president, said in a news release. “This builds on a trend we have long observed: that local governments are at the forefront of our fight for equality.”
Louisville’s score was higher than some peer cities, including Nashville (60), Charlotte (73) and Indianapolis (87).
HRC also created a new category of points to recognize cities that offer specific city services for transgender residents and deducted points from municipal governments that have fairness protections but exclude gender identity.
Gay rights groups and others protested for transgender protections in reaction to legislation that passed in North Carolina this year that blocks cities and counties from enacting laws that protect residents based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Louisville benefited from those boycotts when Atlantic Coast Conference announced that it was moving its 2017 baseball tournament to Louisville, from North Carolina in opposition to that law.