TOPEKA (KSNT) – The city of Topeka is leading the state in LGBTQ+ equality, according to the Human Rights Campaign. The LGBTQ+ advocacy group gave Topeka a 93 out of 100 in its 2021 Municipal Equality Index.

The HRC scores cities on five categories: non-discrimination laws, municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement, and leadership on LGBTQ+ equality. Topeka tied with Overland Park for the highest-ranking city in Kansas.

Back in 2019, Topeka was in the middle of the pack with a score of 50 out of 100. City Manager Brent Trout said raising the score is something the city has been focused on over the past two years.

“It was really taking a look at each of the components of the scorecard and making sure that we had those components hit,” Trout said. “There were changes that needed to occur within ordinances, changes that need to occur in the mission of the human relations commission.”

Trout said the city has plans in the works that could raise the score even higher in 2022. Visit Topeka President Sean Dixon said they can now use this score to help Topeka grow.

“The way this country is growing is in diverse populations,” Dixon said. “The younger population, in particular, is far more inclusive and welcoming and they notice when communities aren’t and they are looking for communities that are.”

Dixon said this score will help with outreach to the LGBTQ+ community and younger people as a whole. He said it shows that Topeka is serious about equality.

The Human Rights Campaign scored nine cities in Kansas this year: Emporia, Hutchinson, Kansas City, Lawrence, Manhattan, Olathe, Overland Park, Topeka, and Wichita.