City Manager Brian Platt painting Rainbow road in KC. | Photo by City of Kansas City
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:
Municipality as employer
Services and programs
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.
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.
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.
Celebrity Hustle Up with Tony Roberts | Thursday, Nov. 16 | 7-8:30 p.m. | Kansas City Improv, 7260 NW 87th St., Kansas City, MO | $35 | Join Tony Roberts and other guest comedians at his new comedy game show.
Swing Class & Social | Thursday, Nov. 16 | 7-11 p.m. | Cabaret Arts and Social Theatre, 9050 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS| $15 | This all-levels class will show you the culture and duality of West Coast Swing.
Friday, Nov. 17
Sip, Mingle & Jingle | Friday, Nov. 17 | 5-9 p.m. | Lenexa Public Market, 8750 Penrose Ln., Lenexa, KS | Free entry | Take advantage of drink and appetizer specials + shop locally-made goods from a variety of pop-up vendors.
Open Studios | Friday, Nov. 17-Saturday, Nov. 18 | Times vary | Stockyard Studios, 1600 Genessee St., Kansas City, MO | Free entry | Peruse the work of more than 30 artists in a wide array of disciplines, including painting, drawing, jewelry, photography, fabric and sculpture.
Candle Pouring and Pairing | Friday, Nov. 17 | 7:30-9:30 p.m. | Weston Wine Company, 540 Main St., Weston, MO | $47 | Settle in for a night of wine-sipping and pour your own “Gilmore Girls"-inspired candle.
MidCoast LIVE! | Friday, Nov. 17-Friday, Dec. 29 | 12-1 p.m. | KKFI 90.1 FM, Kansas City, MO | Free | Each week, a rotating crew of KKFI programmers will present different artists from Kansas City and the surrounding areas live from KKFI’s studio.*
Saturday, Nov. 18
“Into the Woods” | Saturday, Nov. 18, Sunday, Nov. 19, Thursday, Nov. 23 | Times vary | Lewis & Shirley White Theatre at The Jewish Community Center, 5801 W. 115th St, Overland Park, KS | $18-$38 | Enjoy this audience favorite that mixes the tales of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel.
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Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to Overland Park. The city’s Public Safety Committee recommended the adoption of a new ordinance that would permanently allow residents to keep backyard chickens. It comes after Overland Park approved a temporary chicken pilot program in early 2022.
Lenexa Public Market original vendor Red Kitchen KC is uprooting to start a standalone restaurant in downtown Overland Park in 2024. The Mexican breakfast and tamale spot will open next to Teal Lotus Boutique at 7926 Santa Fe Dr., in the Phoenix Building. (Shawnee Mission Post)
Demolition for the 121-year-old former Imperial Brewing Co. building is underway. The brewery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011, but, after unsuccessful salvaging attempts, owners Copaken Brooks and Dean Realty Co. deemed it too far gone. (Kansas City Business Journal)
Bookworms unite — Missouri was ranked the No. 8 “Most Book-Loving State” by BetMissouri.com. The ranking took into consideration average annual library visits per capita in 2020 as well as the last year’s Google searches for “Amazon Kindle.”
Get your bao buns, noodle bowls and Sichuan chicken dumplings at the newly opened Bo’s Kitchen in the River Market (108 E. Fifth St.). The fast-casual food concept comes from local chain Bo Lings’ owners. (Kansas City Star)
Bad boys, whatchu gonna do? “COPS” returns to Kansas City, KS in an episode airing this Friday. The metro has been featured in 40+ episodes since its premiere on season four, episode one of the show.
17-year-old Sammie Magee from Louisburg, KS wanted to help the kids of Uvalde, TX after the May 2022 mass shooting. So she spent months collecting donations, and last weekend donated 13 boxes worth of toys to the community. She set up a room in the town’s local library for families to walk through and pick out a toy.(KOMU)
Whole Harvest, a national health-focused subscription service, is opening its first restaurant in Leawood’s Town Center Plaza (4853 West 117th St. Leawood, KS). It’s a bit of a homecoming — Whole Harvest began in North KC before moving its operations to a production facility in Denver. It anticipates opening later this month.
Let’s hear a roar for KC Zoo and Aquarium, which celebrated its one millionth visitor at 1:05 p.m yesterday. The honor went to Friends of the Zoo members, the Gourley family, who secured themselves a behind-the-scenes tour of Sobela Ocean Aquarium and a gift basket full of merchandise.
President Truman is largely believed to be the first president to pardon a turkey — but that’s not true. The White House Historical Association credits President George H.W. Bush as the originator of the tradition.
Zona Rosa knows that experiences matter. Give the gift of health, wellness + relaxation to the person who has everything. Think: a gift card to M. Vince Nail Spa, a relaxing spa experience from Par Exsalonce, or red light and cryotherapy at Restore Hyper Wellness. Learn more.*
Get your holly jolly on with one of Jingle’s seasonal drinks. | Photo via Sara Beane
You’ve heard of jingle bells, well how about jingle bar? KC Wine Co announced a new offering this holiday season: Jingle.The free to attend, no reservation pop-up bar at its new Black Barn (13875 S. Gardner Rd., Olathe, KS) starts Friday, Nov. 24 through Sunday, Dec. 17.
If milk and cookies aren’t enough to get you through the holidays, stop by Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 4-9 p.m. to enjoy Jingle’s frosty, festive drinks. Sip a “Santa’s Berry Merry Lemonade,” “Mistletoe Marg,” or “Jack Frosty” (or all three) while scouting out your next photo op in the immersive seasonal decor.
KC Wine Co’s year-round drink and snack menu — hard cider flights, wine, beers, wine slushes, charcuterie and flatbread pizzas — will also be available for purchase.
Hey there! I suppose it’s time I formally introduce myself — My name is Madison (but you can call me Maddie), and I’m a born and raised Kansas Citian by way of Waldo and Overland Park. Though I grew up on the Kansas side, I swapped allegiances to attend the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism (MIZ). Be sure to say “hi” when you catch me in line for a chile-basil breakfast sandwich at Mildred’s or hiding away in the stacks of the Central Library!