For the sixth year in a row, Louisville has earned a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) scorecard.
The ranking — called the Municipal Equality Index (MEI) — reflects the city’s support of the LGBTQ community, and the commitment of all Louisville Metro Government agencies to ensure the city is welcoming and inclusive.
"Our city value of compassion is all about being a welcoming community, no matter who you love or where you’re from,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “Receiving this honor for the sixth consecutive year is a true testament to the work of our LGTBQ community, their significant contributions to creating an inclusive city and the help of our many partners. I applaud the Fairness Campaign, Louisville Tourism, Civitas and my team at Metro Government for continuing to take actions that unite us,” he said.
The Human Rights Campaign began in 1980 and is now the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans. It represents more than 3 million members and supporters.
On its website, HRC announced “a record-setting 94 cities across the U.S. earned the highest possible score. Cities and municipalities are meeting and exceeding HRC’s inclusion standards with innovative measures to protect LGBTQ people.”
Mayor Fischer said Louisville’s HRC ranking is a boost to the city’s tourism and economic development efforts, given that inclusive cities are increasingly winning in the competition for residents, businesses and employees.
“We are proud that Louisville continues to be a leader in embracing inclusion, diversity and our LGBTQ community,” says Karen Williams, President & CEO of Louisville Tourism. “We are thrilled to receive this ranking and know it further supports our message that we are a welcoming city.”
Erica Fields, Board Chair of Civitas, the region’s chamber of commerce for LGBTQ and ally businesses, said, “Civitas is happy with its continued partnership with Mayor’s Office and Metro Council to create many avenues for NGLCC certified businesses to thrive and prosper. Even though the pandemic has presented several challenges, our city government has gone the extra mile to provide a safety net for our region’s diverse-owned businesses.”
HRC’s President Alphonso David said, “The results of this year’s Municipality Equality Index show definitive evidence that our local leaders across the nation are standing up for equality – even as they faced headwinds from state governments or the Trump-Pence administration. There is no question that the Trump administration made every effort to attack laws aimed to protect LGBTQ people, and our cities have responded with inclusivity and innovative public policy. Although there is newfound optimism sweeping the country with the incoming Biden-Harris administration, there is still work to be done and ground to make up. Adopting the measures outlined in the MEI will not only help cultivate more united and safe communities, but it will foster economic growth by signaling to residents, visitors and outside investors that their region is welcoming to all.”
Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman congratulated the city and praised its commitment to equality. “Time and time again, Louisville has solidified its spot as a leader on LGBTQ rights in the U.S. Today’s announcement of another perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s MEI is further proof of that legacy,” he said. “We’re grateful that city leaders haven’t just stopped at 100 – recent ordinances that recognize LGBTQ businesses and ban ‘conversion therapy’ are proof of our city’s continued commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
Fischer also applauded the work of 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.
Louisville is the only city in Kentucky to receive a perfect 100. Lexington received a score of 95 and Covington received a score of 96.
See Louisville’s LGBTQ accolades at LGBTQ Louisville