Catch up quick: The Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBTQ+ advocacy group, scored Overland Park a 97 out of 100 points in its annual “Municipal Equality Index.”
What that means: Every year, the HRC rates cities across the U.S. on a number of metrics to “examine how inclusive municipal laws, policies, and services are [for] LGBTQ+ people who live and work there.”
Cities’ index scores are based on a number of factors, including implementation of local non-discrimination laws and police’s policies in reporting of alleged hate crimes to the FBI.
Details: Overland Park is one of a number of Johnson County cities that in recent years has adopted a municipal non-discrimination ordinance prohibiting sexuality- or gender-based discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation.
In a news release, the city also cites its implementation of all-gender public facility restrooms, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, youth bullying prevention services and an LGBTQ+ police liaison, as policies contributing to this year’s high “Equality Index” score.
Key quote: “Overland Park has long had a culture of welcoming and belonging, and the recent recognition from the Human Rights Campaign is representative of the work we’re doing to make sure all residents feel at home here,” said Mayor Curt Skoog.
Zooming out: Overland Park is one of four cities in Kansas to earn a “Municipal Equality Index” score of 90 o higher on the Human Rights Campaign’s ranking.
Lawrence and Wichita each earned perfect scores of 100, and Topeka notched a score of 92, according to the rankings.
Olathe, the only other Johnson County city included in the 2022 equality database, earned a score of 72, and Kansas City, Kan., earned a score of 67.
Kansas City, Mo., also earned a score of 100.
Hi! I'm Lucie Krisman, and I cover the city of Leawood and Johnson County Government for the Post.
I'm a native of Tulsa, Okla., but have been living in Kansas since I moved here to attend KU, where I earned my degree in journalism. Prior to joining the Post, I did work for The Pitch, the Eudora Times, the North Dakota Newspaper Association and KTUL in Tulsa.