For the seventh year in a row, Louisville has earned a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index for the city’s support of the LGBTQ+ community and its work to make Louisville welcoming and inclusive. Louisville was the first city in the state to receive a perfect score and has met that benchmark each year since 2015.
“Louisville is proud to be an inclusive community where individuals of all gender and sexual orientations are welcomed, celebrated, cared for and protected. We strive every day to ensure Louisville is a place where people can feel at home to be themselves,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Long before the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index (MEI), Louisville sought out institutional protections for our LGBTQ+ community because it was and is the right and the compassionate thing to do. Major recognitions like this help us spread the message to the world that Louisville is a welcoming and inclusive place.”
The Mayor applauded the Metro Louisville Human Relations Commission for its work to promote unity, understanding and equal opportunity across the city and to eliminate all forms of bigotry, bias and hatred.
The overall score for Louisville Metro improved from last year with the city receiving additional points for its ongoing work to protect youth from conversion therapy, extend domestic partners benefits to city employees, and provide services to LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness and people living with HIV or AIDS. The city also received points for having openly LGBTQ+ elected or appointed leaders.
The Human Rights Campaign began in 1980 and is now the nation’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Americans. Through its Municipal Equality Index (MEI), it reviews criteria on citywide non-discrimination protections, policies for municipal employees, city services, law enforcement, and the city’s leadership on LGBTQ+ equality.
“Receiving a perfect score on the Municipal Equality Index scorecard for seven years running illustrates Louisville’s continued dedication to embracing inclusion, diversity, and our LGBTQ community,” said Cleo Battle, President & CEO of Louisville Tourism. “We are truly proud of this milestone, as well as the additional accolades and national recognition that further support our status as a welcoming city.”
Among those accolades:
· “One of 10 Hottest Gay Destinations” – Orbitz
· “One of Six Underrated Cities for LGBT Travelers” – Conde Nast Traveler
· “Six Surprising Cities Great for LGBTQ Families” – Family Traveler
· “Top 100 LGBTQ+ bars across the US” [Chill Bar (#87) and Big Bar (#91)] – Yelp
· “7 US Pride festivals off the beaten track that will blow you away” –
· Gay Star News
This year, a record-breaking 110 cities earned the highest score of 100 on the MEI, up from 11 in 2012, its inaugural year.
“LGBTQ+ people are everywhere – in every city, county and ZIP code. Throughout its 10-year history, the Municipal Equality Index has been centered on supporting and celebrating the work municipalities do to serve LGBTQ+ people in the places they call home. This year, state-wide lawmakers have zeroed in on attacking transgender and non-binary children – for no reason other than in an effort to harm and erase them. Local leaders, however, have continued to move the needle of progress forward, and by doing so, they have spurred economic growth by signaling to residents, visitors, and employers that their city is open to everyone,” said JoDee Winterhof, Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs at the Human Rights Campaign.