Oct 19, 2017
DENVER – The Human Rights Campaign announced today that the City and County of Denver has earned its first perfect score on the LGBTQ civil rights organization’s 2017 Municipal Equality Index. Denver is the only city in Colorado to earn this distinction, recognizing the city’s and the Mayor’s commitment to serving LGBTQ residents and leading a city that is welcoming to all.
“In Denver, we stand firmly for the ideals of inclusion, acceptance and opportunity. These are our values,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “We will continue to keep Denver a city that is welcoming to all by standing together against hate and never allowing it to divide our city. We have worked hard to achieve this score, and I’m grateful to the members of my LGBTQ Commission for leading the way.”
The Municipal Equality Index examines the laws, policies, and services of more than 500 municipalities and rates them on the basis of their inclusivity of LGBTQ people who live and work in each city. Cities are rated based on nondiscrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and the city leadership’s public position on equality. The cities evaluated in 2017 represent every state in the nation. Denver was one of only 68 municipalities that achieved a perfect 2017 MEI score.
Denver’s perfect MEI score is a result of progress made on a series of pro-LGBTQ recommendations identified by the LGBTQ Commission, including an amendment to the city building code to require that all new and existing single-stall restrooms provide signs designating them as gender neutral, as well as the appointment of a police department liaison to the LGBTQ community.
“The commission has been working on our ‘Pathway to 100’ plan since 2015, and we are honored to receive this recognition,” said Leah Pryor-Lease, chair of the LGBTQ Commission. “This achievement is the result of a great deal of hard work, thoughtful partnership and strong leadership from stakeholders across the city.”
The Mayor appoints 21 community members to his LGBTQ commission, which serves to advise him and his administration on legislation, policies, programs and practices that impact the LGBTQ community.
“Denver continues to be a leader as a world-class city for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Coloradans and their families, and we are proud of the work they’ve done to support LGBTQ people,” said Daniel Ramos, Executive Director of One Colorado & One Colorado Education Fund. “We hope other cities in Colorado will look to Denver as a model for how to treat their LGBTQ residents with dignity and respect.”
“The GLBT Community Center of Colorado is proud to partner with the city of Denver on programs that affect LGBT public safety, health and civil liberties,” said Rex Fuller, Vice President of Communications & Corporate Giving for The GLBT Community Center of Colorado. “We applaud the city’s continued efforts to make the Mile High City a more welcoming and inclusive community for all its citizens.”