LEXINGTON, Ky. — According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Lexington is one of the most inclusive cities in the U.S. for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

What You Need To Know

  • Lexington ranks in the top 4% nationwide for LGTBQ inclusiveness

  • The Municipal Equality Index Report names Lexington as the most inclusive city in Kentucky

  • Louisville and Covington both received high rankings

  • This is the highest score for Lexington since 2013

Each year, the HRC releases the annual Municipal Equality Index. The MEI looks at how inclusive a city’s laws, policies and services are for the LGBTQ communities.

For a second consecutive year, Lexington received the highest score in the state, with an overall rating of 110. Louisville and Covering both had overall scores of 100, while Bowling Green’s overall rating was 40.

The organization considers 100 to be a perfect score, but can receive what HRC calls flex points, allowing for a highest potential score of 122.

“Lexington has risen to the top to be recognized as the best in Kentucky, and among the best in the nation, and we will continue the work to be even better,” Mayor Linda Gorton said.

The HRC has rated Lexington since 2013, when it had an initial rating of 53. In the last nine years, the city’s score has moved up. In 2019, Gorton’s first year as mayor, Lexington’s rating was 93.

“For the past four years, we have worked hard to diminish inequities in our city,” she added. “Collaboration among our Mayor’s Municipal Equality Index Workgroup, the Council, and City staff has produced changes to policies, passage of ordinances, and active support of organizations that protect, include, and help our LGBTQ community members.”

Lexington-Fayette was the first county in the Kentucky to pass a fairness ordinance in 1999. Since then, the city has passed domestic partner benefits for government employees, strengthened discrimination protection language, began using all-gender signage for city-owned, single occupancy facilities, celebrated the annual Lexington Pride Festival, passed a ban on youth conversion therapy, and launched the LexProud campaign.

To see the entire report and learn how Kentucky’s other cities fared in the report, you can go to the HRC website.