The Overland Park city council’s approval of a non-discrimination ordinance with legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals in October propelled the city to the top of the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index rankings released this week.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the Equality Federation Institute, both organizations that are focused on LGBTQ+ civil rights, have issued the index for the past eight years. The index assesses the inclusion of LGBTQ+ rights in municipal policy, from non-discrimination ordinances to transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits for employees to the presence of an LGBTQ+ liaison on the police force.
Overland Park had a score of 86 out of a possible 100 points, higher than any of the nine Kansas cities included in this year’s rankings and a notable jump from 2018. Last year, the city finished with a score of 32.
Manhattan, which has a non-discrimination ordinance on the books, finished second with a score of 83. Olathe, the only other Johnson County city on the list, finished in sixth place with a score of 40.
The average score from the 506 cities across the country considered in the rankings was 60.