Louisville Scores High for LGBTQ Equality, Still Work to be Done

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Human Rights Campaign gave the city of Louisville a “100” on its scorecard for LGBTQ inclusion. Cities are judged on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, hate crime reports to law enforcement, and leadership on LGBTQ Equality.

Chris Hartman, the Executive Director of the Fairness Campaign, says it’s been a long road for the LQBTQ community.

“The Human Rights Campaign probably almost a decade ago started rating cities based on their level of LGBTQ inclusion and this, I think, is one of the excellent report cards. It is a really accurate reflection of what a city is actually doing to include LGBTQ folks in the community,” Hartman said.

“It rates the city based on probably 25 or 30 criteria and, Louisville five years ago became one of only three cities in the south to earn a perfect 100% rating on this municipal equality index, and now we’ve kept that score for five years. Louisville remains the only city in Kentucky right now that has that 100 percent score,” Hartman said. 

Part of that score can be traced back to 1999, when Louisville enacted a Fairness Ordinance. Hartman says there’s still work to be done in other Kentucky communities.

“You look at a city like Bowling Green that still has not a passed a Fairness Ordinance, leadership is resistant there and that city doesn’t even score a 25. So them, Owensboro, a number of our cities don’t even have the basics for LGBTQ inclusion. So they get a massive failing grade,” Hartman said. 

Spectrum News 1 reached out to Bowling Green’s Public Information Officer, she confirmed that city council members aren’t currently planning to vote on a Fairness Ordinance in the near future.

The Human Right Campaign recommends every city make the following changes to make a difference in the LGBTQ community:

  • Provide more support for LGBTQ youth
  • Have elected officials who are openly-LGBTQ
  • Protect children from conversion therapy

One potential proposal would broaden opportunities for LGBTQ businesses like it does for men, women, minorities, and people with disabilities during the subcontracting process in Louisville.

The regional LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce Civitas is a strong supporter.

“The more experience people have meeting people from other communities any community whether it’s minority whether it’s women whether it’s disabled whether it’s LGBTQ you start to understand them as humans instead of oh they are in this group , I hear about on the news and you begin to break down the fears. You begin to break down the curiosity and people then all of sudden start to interact in a very normal way with each other which is kind of the ultimate goal,”  Board Chair Erica Fields said. 

To learn more about how cities in Kentucky ranked click here.