For the third consecutive year, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has awarded the City of Fort Collins a perfect 100 score on the Municipal Equality Index.
The city’s 2023 scorecard reflects the city’s continued work toward a more inclusive culture for LGBTQ+ employees and community members. When the city first achieved a 100 score in 2021, Fort Collins was highlighted as one of five “Success Stories” in the HRC’s Municipal Equality Index Annual Report. The story can be read here.
“This achievement represents years of dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion on behalf of city staff and in partnership with our community,” says Mayor Jeni Arndt about the continued recognition. “I am particularly delighted with the work done with our Human Relations Commission earlier this year to amend the definition of discrimination in our city code to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, making it law in Fort Collins. It is exciting to see how Fort Collins is serving its LGBTQ+ community, and I am eager to continue to collaborate with our LGBTQ+ residents to ensure they feel a true sense of belonging here.”
Fort Collins’ MEI rating has steadily increased over the years, from 60 in 2015 to 74 in 2016, 78 in 2017, 83 in 2018, to 95 out of 100 possible points in 2019 and 2020, and to 100 in 2021, 2022 and 2023. These increases were recognition of, among other advances, the adoption of transgender-inclusive healthcare for city employees, the city’s inclusive workplace policy adopted by city council, added protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in the non-discrimination clause of the city’s purchasing policy, and increased public support from city leaders.
These advances have been primarily led by the city’s PRIDE Employee Resource Group, formerly the LGBTQ+ Equity Subcommittee.
“It’s important that we are a leader in advancing equity and inclusion for our LGBTQ+ community,” says Heather Cox, co-chair of the PRIDE Employee Resource Group. “As queer and trans people are increasingly targeted by discriminatory laws and practices across the country, it’s critical that we make clear to our Fort Collins LGBTQ+ community that you are seen, you are valued and you have the right to feel safe and welcome in your community.”
The Municipal Equality Index examines cities across the nation for how inclusive their municipal laws, policies and services are of LGBTQ+ people who live and work there. For more information, visit hrc.org/mei.