Orlando Receives Highest MEI Score for 10th Consecutive Year

Last updated on November 14, 2023

The City of Orlando Receives Highest Score on Municipal Equality Index for 10th Consecutive Year

November 14, 2023 – 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 10th consecutive year.

The MEI evaluates more than 500 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, law enforcement and municipal leadership on matters of equality.

“A perfect score on the Municipal Equality Index is great recognition for the City of Orlando’s contributions and our entire community’s efforts to ensure Orlando remains welcoming for LGBTQ+ residents and visitors,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “Our work to put inclusion and equity at the forefront of all that we do must and will continue. Orlando will keep showing that love is stronger than hate.”

"I am very proud that Orlando continues to achieve the highest score on the Municipal Equality Index. Our city values diversity, equity and inclusion and shows this commitment in our policies,” said District 4 City Commissioner Patty Sheehan. “I am proud to serve openly and authentically as an LGBTQ+ leader."

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 recent efforts:

  • Providing $130,000 in funding through our Community Investment Program to Zebra Youth to offer the opportunity for homeless LGBTQ+ youth to access culturally appropriate housing and supportive services to help meet their unique needs and challenges, in a supportive environment, by caring adults.
  • 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.
  • Updating the Orlando Police Department’s Transgender Persons Policy to include protections for nonbinary individuals during encounters.
  • Recognizing October as LGBTQ+ History Month in the City of Orlando to highlight the achievements and contributions of LGBTQ+ residents and reaffirm our city's commitment to ensure that Orlando is a place where every person is valued and has equitable access to opportunities to help them thrive.
  • Supporting the Come Out With Pride Parade and Festival, including City of Orlando employees participating.
  • Providing residents and international visitors information and connecting them with the Orlando Police Department's LGBTQ+ Liaison Program, the Safe Place Program, policies, and community partnerships.
  • Recognizing June as Pride Month and commemorating the struggles for civil rights and the ongoing pursuit of equal justice under the law for LGBTQ+ individuals by flying the Progressive flag at City Hall and using social media posts to educate and inform.
  • Collaborating with Zebra Youth to host the tenth Orlando Youth Empowerment Series to break the isolation of LGBTQ+ youth by providing information on mental health, civic engagement and LGBTQ+ history to young residents and their families.

The 2023 Municipal Equality Index (MEI) can be found at hrc.org/mei.




Tagged as: