Kentucky cities are making progress toward becoming more supportive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, according to a report from the Human Rights Campaign released this month.
Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort, Bowling Green and Owensboro were rated in the 2014 Municipal Equity Index—which this year assessed LGBT equality in 353 cities across the nation.
Kentucky cities earned an average rating score of 41 of 100, according to a news release. Louisville garnered the highest score in the state with a rating of 66.
Nationwide, the average rating was 59, according to the report.
Here are the ratings of Kentucky’s other cities included in the report:
- Lexington, 65
- Frankfort, 42
- Owensboro, 19
- Bowling Green, 14
Louisville received a rating of 50 in 2013—a year when the national average rating was 57.
The Human Rights Campaign‘s criteria for the report included relationship recognition policies, municipal employment policies, inclusiveness of city services and law enforcement, and city leadership, according to the report.
Cities can earn points for each category. For example, Louisville earned all five available points for having a non-discrimination policy for city workers. But in regards to transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits for city workers, Louisville earned none of the possible four points.
Other areas in which Louisville struggled to earn high marks included relationship recognition of LGBT communities—such as same-sex marriage rights—and the lack of an LGBT liaison to city executives and local police, according to the report.
Chris Hartman, the director of Louisville’s Fairness Campaign, said there is “still a lot of work to do” to make Louisville a truly supportive, inclusive city.
Hartman said Louisville “lagging behind” regional peers such as St. Louis and Cincinnati, both of which earned a 100 rating.
But Hartman commended city leaders for the ongoing efforts to address areas of the LGBT community that need added supports—such as Louisville Metro Police’s ongoing training for addressing LGBT issues and the growing support for same-sex legislation.
“There is always a little bit of hesitancy to enact new policies that don’t already exist,” he said.
“Louisville has always been a leader for LGBT rights in the South. I think that once we sit down with Mayor (Greg) Fischer and talk through some of these things it won’t be a difficult sell to get Louisville up where it needs to be.”