Lexington gets highest rating again in Kentucky for LGBTQ rights; near top in country

Kevin Nance

Lexington has received the highest score in the state for its policies regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, according to a nonprofit group that ranks cities on LGBTQ policies.

Lexington received a score of 114, one of the highest of the 506 cities ranked by the Human Rights Campaign. That puts Lexington in the top 2% of the country.

The annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI) review is based on how inclusive municipal laws, policies, and services are of LGBTQ communities.

Lexington is fourth-best among rated municipalities in surrounding states including Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, and Virginia Beach, Va.

This is the third year in a row it received the top ranking in Kentucky.

“I am so proud that Lexington continues to be recognized as an equality leader in Kentucky, as well as rising to the top in the nation,” Mayor Linda Gorton said. “Over the past five years, we have focused on diversity and inclusion in city policies and ordinances. This is a testament to our work.”

The city’s ranking with the Human Rights Campaign has steadily increased over the years. It received a ranking of just 53 nearly a decade ago.

It was the first city in Kentucky to pass a Fairness Ordinance in 1999. It has also changed other policies, including making sure all city services are inclusive of the LGBTQ community. The city also banned conversion therapy for teens in 2021.