I am pleased to announce that for the second-consecutive year, the City of Orlando obtained a perfect score of 100 points in the 2015 Municipal Equality Index (MEI), which reflects our ongoing commitment of preserving an inclusive government that serves and represents our diverse community.
The 2015 MEI is a nationwide evaluation of 408 cities based on how inclusive the city’s laws and policies are for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Orlando is one of the few major cities in the country to obtain the top score of the MEI.
Our City has been at the forefront in creating a community that is not only culturally diverse, but also one that embraces change and equality. In the past few years, we have established policies and ordinances that foster inclusiveness and benefit everyone equally, including:
- Adoption of the domestic partnership registry with more than 1,321 couples
- Support of marriage equality in court briefs
- Adding gender identity as a protected class in our anti-discrimination City Code
- The celebration of the historic Vowed and Proud Wedding Ceremony at City Hall in which 44 couples were legally married
- The Orlando Police Department (OPD) adopted a Transgender Persons policy to codify through policy one of the tenets of OPD: To treat all people with dignity and respect. This order establishes guidelines for the appropriate treatment of transgender individuals who come into contact with and/or require the services of OPD.
As a result of our significant efforts, our MEI perfect score demonstrates the progress our community has made and validates our commitment to have an inclusive government that promotes diversity and benefits all sectors of society, including the LGBT community.
I am proud what we have accomplished together as Orlando continues being an inclusive and welcoming city where the quality of life is second to none.
To obtain more information about MEI and this year’s scorecard, please visit http://www.hrc.org/mei.
– Buddy Dyer, Mayor