Kansas City’s Municipal Equality Index score

Why Kansas City, MO scored 100 out of 100 in the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.

City Manager Brian Platt painting rainbow road in KC

City Manager Brian Platt painting rainbow road in KC.

Photo by the City of Kansas City

Table of Contents

The Human Rights Campaign released the 2023 Municipal Equality Index, and Kansas City is on the list. How did we score?

Each year, the Human Rights Campaign releases a Municipal Equality Index which takes a deep dive into municipal laws, policies, and services + how inclusive they are of LGBTQ+ people. This year’s edition examined 506 cities on 49 different criteria across five categories — non-discrimination laws, municipality as employer, services and programs, law enforcement, and leadership on LGBTQ+ equality.

Based on these criteria, Kansas City, MO earned a score of 100 out of 100. A perfect score. Here’s a breakdown of how we got here… and how that score may change.

Non-discrimination laws

This category looks at whether LGBTQ+ discrimination is prohibited by law in areas of employment, housing, and public accommodation. Kansas City achieved a 26 out of 30 for our laws across the state, county, and municipality, but received bonus points for single-occupancy all-gender facilities and protections against youth conversion therapy.

Municipality as employer

Cities can achieve points for inclusive employment policies like trans-inclusive healthcare policies and non-discrimination in city employment. Kansas City got a 23 out of 28, and earned bonus points for city employee domestic partner benefits.

Services and programs

This section considers the city’s efforts to include LGBTQ+ folks in city services and programs. Kansas City scored 12 out of 12, and got bonus points for city-offered services to the transgender community and those living with HIV or AIDS.

Law enforcement

Looking at the relationship between law enforcement and the LGBTQ+ community, Kansas City earned 22 out of 22.

Leadership on LGBTQ+ equality

This section looks at city leadership’s commitment to advocacy and inclusion. Kansas City got an 8 out of 8, and earned bonus points for the city testing the limits of restrictive state laws.

Looking ahead

Even a perfect score doesn’t mean a perfect city. Kansas City earned its perfect score with bonus points and would achieve a higher score from the HRC with a few extra efforts. For example, the city could re-elect or appoint openly LGBTQ+ leaders. The city could also provide services to LGBTQ+ people experiencing homelessness, youth, and older adults.

If you want to get involved, here are some local organizations that support the LGBTQ+ community.

How do you think we could make our community more welcoming to all? Let us know.