November 17, 2022 – 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) and the City of Orlando obtained the highest score of 100 for the ninth-consecutive year.
The MEI evaluates 506 cities nationally on how inclusive their municipal laws, policies and services are of LGBTQ+ residents and visitors utilizing 49 different criteria including non-discrimination laws and municipal employment policies, inclusiveness of city services, and law enforcement and municipal leadership on matters of equality.
“I am proud that the City of Orlando has again been recognized with the top score on the Municipal Equality Index, but our work to create a more inclusive community for LGBTQ+ residents and every person in our city must and will continue,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “Ensuring that every Orlando resident is valued, respected and has equitable access to opportunities to help them thrive remains a collective priority for our 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 theseefforts:
- 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 aprocurement directive requiring contractors to have policies against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientationduring theperformance of contractswith the City of Orlando.
- Updating the Orlando Police Department’sTransgender Persons Policy to include protections fornonbinary individualsduringpoliceencounters.
- Working to increase the visibility of issues impacting the transgendercommunity 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 theninthOrlando Youth EmpowermentSummitto break the isolation of LGBTQ+ youthbyproviding information on mental health, civic engagement and LGBTQ+ history to young residents and their families.
“With the divisive nature of politics in our country, it is more important than ever to treat every resident in our community with respect,” said District 4 City Commissioner Patty Sheehan. “Obtaining a perfect score on the Municipality Equality Index solidifies Orlando's commitment to fairness, equality and dignity for all.”
The 2022 Municipal Equality Index (MEI) can be found at hrc.org/mei.