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Orlando Obtains Highest Municipal Equality Index for 3rd Year


City of Orlando Obtains the Highest Score on the 2016 Municipal Equality Index (MEI) for the Third Year in a Row

Mayor Buddy Dyer announced that the City of Orlando obtained the highest score of 100 on the HRC Foundation’s 2016 Municipal Equality Index (MEI) for the third year in a row reflecting the City’s ongoing commitment of preserving an inclusive government that embraces diversity.

MEI is a nationwide report that evaluates 506 cities on their LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices, including non-discrimination laws; municipal employment policies, including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage and non-discrimination requirements for contractors; inclusiveness of City services; law enforcement, including hate crimes reporting and municipal leadership on matters of equality. Orlando is one of the 60 cities in the country to obtain the top score of the MEI.

Orlando“It has now been more than four months since the darkest day in our city’s history. In the hours, days and weeks after the Pulse tragedy, Orlando shined with love and compassion,” said Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We showed the world that we are Orlando United. And today, we are proud to celebrate that our community is being recognized for that diversity and inclusiveness.”

“Orlando is very proud of our perfect score on the Municipality Equality Index,” said Commissioner Patty Sheehan. “In the wake of the Pulse tragedy, Orlando showed the world how much we love and respect the LGBTQ community and we are an accepting and welcoming place.”

“In Orlando, progress continues, even in the face of tragedy and heartbreak,” said JoDee Winterhof, Human Rights Campaign Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “This is the third year that Orlando has scored a perfect 100 points on the Municipal Equality Index, making it a leader in Florida and the nation. Orlando is a community that demonstrates the power of what can be done when we respect and support each other and local leaders step up on equality for LGBTQ people.”

The City of Orlando has established many local programs, ordinances and laws that benefit the LGBTQ community, including:

  • Adopting a domestic partnership registry which now has more than thirteen hundred couples registered.
  • Adding Gender identity as a protected class in its anti-discrimination City Code.
  • Celebrating the historic Vowed and Proud wedding ceremony, which Mayor Dyer presided over at City Hall in 2015, when 44 same-sex couples were married and gained access to a safety net of more than twelve hundred legal and economic protections for their families.
  • Hosting Orlando Speaks, an open conversation to strengthen relationships and trust between police officers and residents.
  • Adopting a Transgender Persons Policy with guidelines to establish the appropriate treatment of transgender individuals who come into contact with or require the services of the Orlando Police Department.
  • Helping young residents grow up in an inclusive environment, though the Stand Up Orlando initiative offered at middle schools in the city and has provided more than 2,000 students and 500 parents and school staff with anti-bullying curriculum.

To learn more about programs, ordinances and laws that benefit the LGBTQ community, visit http://www.cityoforlando.net/mayor/lgbtq-community

The 2016 Municipal Equality Index (MEI) can be found at http://www.hrc.org/mei


Human Rights Campaign, Orlando