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Kansas City Scores Best And Worst On LGBT Equality Index

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Kansas City has simultaneously achieved the lowest and highest scores on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index scorecard.

Kansas City, Kan., earned a zero on the scorecard, which ranks city laws, policies, benefits and services that work to positively impact residents in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

On the Missouri side, Kansas City earned 100 of 100 possible points.

Scoring criteria included non-discrimination laws, law enforcement practices, services and relationship recognition.

Kansas City, Mo.

In the relationship category, Kansas City, Mo., performed well, even though the state does not allow same-sex marriage. Both Jackson County and Kansas City, Mo. have a domestic partner registry, earning the city 12 of a possible 12 points.

Chris Hernandez, Deputy Communications Director for the city, says the city was happy because last year they scored 85 points. He says after the 2012 results the council passed a resolution to try and improve the score. Among other things, that included facilitating the appointment of a LGBT liaison for the police department.

Kansas City, Mo., did fall short in a couple of the categories that rate the city’s equality index in terms of providing services as an employer. It does not offer equal family leave to all family members, and it does not require contractors to provide benefits to same-sex partners.

The city was able to recoup those points by scoring bonus points for having elected LGBT officials, engaging with the LGBT community and providing services to its most vulnerable citizens.

Kansas City, Kan.

The city of Kansas City, Kan., scored at the bottom, along with two other cities from Mississippi, South Haven and Starkville.

Kansas City, Kan., scored a zero in every category, including on non-discrimination laws for employment and housing, LGBT leadership and anti-bullying policies in schools.

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas could not be reached for comment.

Other cities in Kansas fared much better: Lawrence scored 55; Overland Park, 27; Topeka, 32; and Wichita, 22.

In Missouri, Jefferson City scored 12, Columbia 74, St. Louis, 100 and Springfield, 37.

According to the Human Rights Commission, all the cities were offered the opportunity to review the scorecards before the study was published. At that time they were able to refute any findings or provide additional information.

You can see the entire report here.

A previous version of this article incorrectly reported Lawrence, Kan. got a score of 22.

A California native, Briana comes to KCUR by way of KMUW in Wichita, Kan. and KUSP in Santa Cruz, Calif.
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