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The Human Rights Campaign, the largest civil rights organization in America working for LGBTQ+ equality, conducted its 10th annual nationwide evaluation by rating cities on five categories: non-discrimination laws, municipality as employer, municipal services, law enforcement and leadership on LGBTQ+ equality.
Of the 506 cities rated in 2021, Columbia was one of 110 cities that earned a perfect score. The national average score was 67 points. Eight Missouri cities were evaluated. Along with Columbia, St. Louis and Kansas City also received perfect scores.
Columbia was also one of 74 cities to earn an all-star rating, which is given to cities when they obtain a high score in a state that lacks comprehensive non-discrimination laws for LGBTQ+ people.
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"We pride ourselves on being an inclusive and welcoming community," Columbia Mayor Brian Treece said. "When people feel welcome here, they want to move here, send their children to college here. When people feel a connection to our community, they want to stay here, start new businesses here. Our equality protections are good for families and our economy."
In August 2020, the Columbia City Council passed a provision to its Code of Ordinances requiring that all City contractors implement nondiscrimination employment policies.
The Human Rights Campaign's evaluation included 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities in the United States, the five largest cities or municipalities in each state, the cities home to each state's two largest public universities, 75 cities and municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples, and 98 cities selected by the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Federation state groups, members and supporters.
Read more about the Municipal Equality Index here.
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