You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 10:01 a.m.

Ann Arbor earns high score on new ranking for LGBT equality

By Cindy Heflin

Ann Arbor received a high score on a new Municipal Equality Index ranking communities on protections for LGBT people, the Atlantic Cities reports.


Ryan J. Stanton |

Ann Arbor scored 84 out of a possible score of 100 in the report on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisxual, transgender) equality. Eleven cities, including New York, Los Angeles and St. Louis received perfect scores. Low rankers included Jefferson City, Mo.; Frankfort, Ky.; and Montgomery, Ala.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute and the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund compiled the report.

The report ranked communities on 47 criteria in six broad categories: non-discrimination laws; relationship recognition; the municipality’s employment practices; inclusiveness of city services; law enforcement; and municipal leadership.

Ann Arbor was the first city in the country to pass a gay rights ordinance. It was also the first city in the nation to elect an openly gay person to office when Kathy Kozachenko won a seat on City Council in April 1974. named it one of the top five surprisingly gay-friendly small towns in 2009.

The ranking in the Municipal Equality Index is the latest in a string of kudos for the city. In recent months, Ann Arbor has been ranked the No. 9 college town in America, the fifth-happiest city in America and one of the 10 best cities for singles, among others.


Jeffersonian Liberal

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 1:08 p.m.

Who cares?


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.

Yawn. Hey, didn't some Christmas decorations get stolen?


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 2:04 p.m.

Yes...better get back to the "War On Christmas" as Bill O'Reilly instructed all of his puppets!

Ron Granger

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 8:50 p.m.



Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 2:02 p.m. is FABU! To quote my dear deceased gay friend...


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 7:27 p.m.

Being LGBT-friendly has significant economic benefit, let's not forget. The young, well-educated, energetic entrepreneurs we want to stay in Michigan have an LGBT-friendly mindset, and they will not choose to live and work where their values are contradicted. The top-of-their-field academics who happen to be gay will choose to live in gay-friendly MA or CA over anti-gay MI. The proof in the pudding is that automakers, from Ford and GM to Toyota and Kia, all have very LGBT-friendly workplace policies. Discrimination is bad for the bottom line.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 6:35 p.m.

I think this is great news, but like brimble stated, the state and the people of Michigan must change its anti-gay stance and legislation. In an article in the Detroit News today there are people trying to develop ideas to make Michigan more attractive state for young people. The brain drain is a real issue for the state and I feel one of the key points to keeping young people living in the state is making the state available to everyone. Until the residents of Michigan realize that the road to prosperity is paved with open doors and equal opportunity for all of its citizens, it will continue to fail. The closed minded approach does not work, it never has and it never will. Ann Arbor was rated as one of the top 10 cities with a high level of tolerance for each other; this is one of the reasons it always leads in low unemployment for the state and is such a great place to live and call home.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 6:42 p.m.

the reason A2 leads the state in unemployment has nothing to do with level of tolerance, its the U and its gravity.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.

Mike, it's a non-issue for you because your rights aren't subject to removal. It's important for other people. Everything doesn't have to be important to you to be important.


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 11:58 a.m.

god had nothing to do with the constitution. Get that right!


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 7:37 p.m.

You don't have "rights" based on sexual proclivities..... You have God given Constitutionally protected rights including those rights protected under the First Amendment.... That is all...nothing more...nothing less That's why it is a non-issue...


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 3:36 p.m.

This is a non-issue as far as I'm concerned. I have no problem with people of any persuasion but am more concerned with the financial state of our country. The spending has to be reined in or all of these other issues will mean nothing..............


Thu, Dec 6, 2012 : 9:52 p.m.

Another benefit LGBT folks don't receive are death benefits. If your partner passes away you are on your own. When this happens to a hetero married couple they can draw the others social security. You will find many LGBT struggling or losing their houses due to the loss of that second income. They also pay separate for insurance. Are not allowed visitation in some hospitals. Or any other married rights. If the government wants to give certain rights to married couples I am fine with that. Let the churches decide individually who they will marry. The government should honor the marriage certificates without question then. That would be a true separation of church and state.

Angry Moderate

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 6:44 p.m.

And gay people are concerned about the financial state of their filing joint tax returns and getting health insurance.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 3:52 p.m.

Agree we have to get out finances in order. Perhaps starting with the TEMPORARY Bush tax cuts?


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 3:24 p.m.

While Ann Arbor is pretty good at being LGBT-friendly, it is still in the state of Michigan, which has a Constitutional dictate of discrimination against same-sex families. Many local employers have policies which award benefits such as health insurance to same-sex families, but the University (our largest employer) does so only by maneuvering around the state's prohibition. The state's discrimination against same-sex couples and the related attempts to deny health insurance, hospital visitation rights, tax recognition, and so on a simple case of civil rights violations. Get things right in Lansing, and amend the idiotic amendment on our state constitution, and we can talk about LGBT equality.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

Voters obviously approved the ban on same-sex unions, but legislators in Lansing have not taken any actions to support LGBT residents either.


Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 6:40 p.m.

uum, did lansing pass this or the citizens of the state?