Three WV Cities named “All-Stars” of Municipal Equality Index

Every year, our friends at the Human Rights Campaign release new ratings on how inclusive municipalities across the country are. This report, called the Municipal Equality Index, rates communities on a scale of zero to 100.

Three West Virginia communities were named “All-Stars” of this year’s MEI report: Huntington, Morgantown and Charleston. The first two of those communities earned perfect scores of 100, and Charleston earned 92 points. These communities were named “All-Stars” because they earned high scores despite the fact that our state has yet to adopt the Fairness Act, a statewide nondiscrimination law.

“If we’re going to move West Virginia’s economy into the future, then community leaders must be able to continue adopting these types of inclusive policies,” said Andrew Schneider, executive director of Fairness West Virginia. “People need to know that West Virginia is open for business, and that means we need to ensure that no customer or employee faces discrimination because of who they are or who they love. Employers want the best and brightest talent, and these types of local laws are helping attract new investments into our community.”

Check out the chart below to see how West Virginia communities fared on the MEI below. This chart shows the final score of cities that were graded. Cities can earn more than 100 points, but their final score cannot go above 100. Click the name of a community to visit the MEI’s rubric for each community. 

MunicipalityMEI Score

Municipality

Final Score

Huntington

Morgantown

Charleston

Wheeling

Charles Town

Lewisburg

Parkersburg

The MEI examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies, and services are of LGBTQ people who live and work there. Cities are rated based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and leadership on LGBTQ+ equality. Not sure what qualifies a municipality to earn points? This website explains how communities are scored.

Fairness West Virginia received a special shout-out in this year’s MEI for all of our work to advance equality at the local level. Click here to read the shout-out.