Ann Arbor Earns Perfect Score on Municipal Equality Index

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Archived News Release: October 20, 2016 - ​The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute, has given Ann Arbor a perfect score of 100 points in its fifth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI). The MEI assesses LGBTQ equality in 506 cities across the nation, including 11 in Michigan. The other highest-achieving cities in the state are Detroit and East Lansing, with Ferndale next highest at a score of 94. The average score for cities in Michigan is 69, which falls above the national average of 55.

"Inclusion and diversity are core Ann Arbor values. These principles are fundamental to everything we do, explained Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor. "At City Hall, we are wholly committed to ensuring our LGBTQ community continues to experience Ann Arbor as a welcoming, vibrant place to live, love, work and play. I am delighted and proud that the City of Ann Arbor has earned a Municipal Equality Index score of 100."

Taylor recently appointed a LGBTQ liaison to the mayor's office, Bradley O'Furey. The city also has designated a Police Department liaison, Sgt. Tom Hickey, to the LGBTQ Community. In this role, Sgt. Hickey provides outreach, recommends initiatives and programs, and serves as a positive point of contact for matters of concern for the Ann Arbor Police Department.

The MEI rates cities based on 44 criteria that fall into five broad categories:

  1. Non-discrimination laws.
  2. Municipal employment policies, including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage and non-discrimination requirements for contractors.
  3. Inclusiveness of city services.
  4. Law enforcement, including hate crimes reporting.
  5. Municipal leadership on matters of equality.

"The Human Rights Commission is thrilled about Ann Arbor's strong showing on the MEI scorecard! We appreciate all the hard work the city has put into documenting the support it has long provided its LGBT community," said Leslie Krauz Stambaugh, chair of the Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission. "We were pleased to see how quickly the city adopted some new services, suggested by the work of the Human Rights Campaign, that promise to provide an even better experience in Ann Arbor for people who identify as LGBT. It is not surprising that cities scoring high on this scorecard tend to also be high on the 'best places' lists, because they appear so welcoming."

The full report, including detailed scorecards for every city, as well as a searchable database, is available online at

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Media Contact Information

Robyn Wilkerson
Human Resources and Labor Relations Director
[email protected]

Ann Arbor has 123,851 residents, spans 28.97 square miles and is frequently recognized as a foremost place to live, learn, work, thrive and visit. To keep up with City of Ann Arbor information, subscribe for email updates, and follow the city on Twitter and Facebook. The city's mission is to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe and diverse community.