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Press Releases > MEI Recognizes Buffalo For LGBT Friendly Policies

MEI Recognizes Buffalo For LGBT Friendly Policies

MAYOR BROWN, CITY OF BUFFALO RESPOND TO CITY’S HIGH SCORE ON 2015 MUNICIPAL EQUALITY INDEX


MEI recognizes Buffalo for LGBT friendly policies

December 17, 2015 – Mayor Byron Brown announced today that the City of Buffalo has earned 94 points on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) 2015 Municipal Equality Index (MEI). The 2015 MEI rated a total of 408 cities from every state in the nation, which is an increase of more than 55 cities rated in 2014.

“I thank the Human Rights Campaign for recognizing the City of Buffalo’s continued commitment to fairness and equality and our score of 94 exemplifies our city’s commitment to serving all citizens, including members of the LGBT community,” said Mayor Brown.  “As Mayor, one of my top priorities is to keep Buffalo at the forefront in the fight for civil rights and my Administration will continue to work to recognize and protect the dignity of all, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The Municipal Equality Index (MEI) examines the laws, policies, and services of municipalities and rates them on the basis of their inclusivity of LGBT individuals who live and work there.
Out of 8 cities in New York State, Buffalo scored the 2nd highest behind New York City, Rochester & Yonkers, who all received 100.


The MEI rates cities based on criteria falling under six broad categories:

  1. Non-discrimination laws
  2. Relationship recognition
  3. Municipal employment policies, including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage and non-discrimination requirements for contractors
  4. Inclusiveness of city services
  5. Law enforcement
  6. Municipal leadership on matters of equality


Buffalo earned points for, among many things, its insurance benefits package for transgender individuals, the number of appointed officials from the LGBT community who serve on city boards and in management positions in City government, the City’s Commission on Citizens’ Rights and Community Relations, funding for various programs established for those living with HIV/Aids. The City also received points for the City of Buffalo Opportunity Pledge, because, according to the HRC, “…it shows the Mayor's pro-equality commitment through acquired community input.”


“The latest rating shows that Mayor Brown has included Buffalo’s LGBT community with laws, policies and services that place our city in the upper echelon of national standards any progressive, welcoming place would be proud to call home,” said David Granville, City of Buffalo Commission on Citizens’ Rights and Community Relations Board Member.  “The Opportunity Pledge is an example of how the City includes every citizen in its efforts to build a strong place to live and work.”

Throughout his career, Mayor Brown has fought for upholding human rights and providing equal opportunities to all of its citizens. As Buffalo’s significant economic resurgence continues with over $5.5 billion in new economic development activity, which is expected to create over 12,000 jobs, he continues to build a city of opportunity where all citizens can benefit from Buffalo’s rising prosperity. 

  • Mayor Brown is a founding member of the Racial Equity Roundtable, an historic collaboration between government, non-profits and the business community
  • Mayor Brown also continues to encourage city residents and visitors to sign the Buffalo Opportunity Pledge as a show of support and commitment to building a culture of inclusion and equity in Buffalo.  To date, nearly 4,145 individuals and 173 businesses or organizations, representing over 53,239 members, students and employees have signed the pledge.


To read more about the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) 2015 Municipal Equality Index at: www.hrc.org/mei.