Rising ‘All-Stars’: Huntington and Charleston recognized for LGBTQ inclusion

West Virginia

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Charleston and Huntington, West Virginia are leading the way for creating an LGBTQ inclusive state, and the numbers do not lie.

Through a virtual meeting, the two cities were recognized by the Human Rights Campaign for stepping up for their local LGBTQ communities.

According to the 2020 Municipal Equality Index (MEI), both cities have shown outstanding progress in becoming “All-Star” cities.

Being a state without statewide non-discrimination statutes, including sexual orientation and gender identity, actively progressing towards more inclusive habits means everything to the city officials.

This is something that we had set our eyes towards accomplishing in my first year in office.

Steve Williams, mayor of Huntington

“Huntington Pride” co-founder and Huntington LGBTQ Advisory Committee member Ally Layman says this recognition brings with it comfort.

Growing up here and seeing how it is now, it’s just awesome.

Ally Layman, “Huntington Pride” co-founder and Huntington LGBTQ Advisory Committee member

In 2013, Huntington’s raw score stood at 45 points, but that has significantly changed. For the third year in a row, the city has received a perfect score with Charleston also moving up with a score of 92.

During a time when hate crimes against LGBTQ people is still on the rise, the goal of the HRC with the MEI is to see perfect scores across the board.

For the full 2020 MEI report, click here.

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