Last updated on November 18, 2021
The City of Orlando Receives Highest Score on Municipal Equality Index for Eighth-Consecutive Year
November 18, 2021 – Orlando, FL – The efforts to make The City Beautiful a more inclusive, equitable community have been recognized, as the Human Rights Campaign released its annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI) today and the City of Orlando obtained the highest score of 100 for the eighth-consecutive year.
The MEI reports how inclusive municipal laws, polices and services are of LGBTQ+ people.
The Human Rights Campaign evaluated 506 cities nationally on 49 different criteria, including non-discrimination laws and municipal employment policies like transgender-inclusive insurance coverage, all-user restrooms and non-discrimination requirements for contractors; inclusiveness of city services; law enforcement, including hate crimes reporting and municipal leadership on matters of equality.
“Our work as a municipal government to help make Orlando a welcoming community for all must continue, but I am proud that the City of Orlando has again been recognized for our commitment to LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “Inclusion and equity will remain at the forefront of all that we do as a community.”
The City of Orlando was one of 110 municipalities nationwide and eight in Florida to receive a perfect score.
“Considering the state of national affairs, I am glad that cities are leading in the fair treatment of their LGBTQ+ citizens," said District 4 City Commissioner Patty Sheehan. "Orlando continues to value the diversity and unique contributions of the LGBTQ+ community.”
The City of Orlando has been a leader in Florida and throughout the nation in establishing programs, ordinances and laws that benefit the LGBTQ+ community, including these recent efforts:
Providing funding to the LGBT+ Center Orlando to operate the Orlando United Assistance Center to continue to deliver critical services for those impacted by the Pulse tragedy.
Implementing a procurement directive requiring contractors to have policies against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation during the performance of contracts with the City of Orlando.
Helping the Zebra Coalition in its efforts to increase access to transitional housing for LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness by providing funding.
Updating the Orlando Police Department’s Transgender Persons Policy to include protections for nonbinary individuals during police encounters.
Working to increase the visibility of issues impacting the transgender community by flying the Transgender Pride flag at City Hall during visibility and awareness days and using social media posts to educate and inform.
Collaborating with the Zebra Coalition to host the eighth Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit virtually and in-person to break the isolation of LGBTQ+ youth by providing information on mental health, civic engagement and LGBTQ+ history to more than 60 young residents and their families.
The 2021 Municipal Equality Index (MEI) can be found at www.hrc.org/resources/municipal-equality-index
Samantha HolstenPublic Information Officer