Thursday, Oct 18, 2018
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Toledo makes great strides in promoting equality

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Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz, center, and other city officials gather at Toledo's 'love wall' on Adams Street to celebrate Toledo's scoring 103 points out of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index for 2018.

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Toledo’s LGBTQ inclusiveness score is reaching new heights, scoring 103 points out of 100 in the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index for 2018.

Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz and other city officials gathered at Toledo’s “love wall” on Adams Street to celebrate the achievement. The score of 103 is up from 89 in 2017 and 2016.

“This is something I’m personally proud of just as a citizen of Toledo,” Mr. Kapszukiewicz said. “As the mayor, I’m even more proud. I think all Toledoans should celebrate what we’re here talking about today.”

WATCH: Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz celebrates Toledo’s inclusivity score

Toledo scored a 58 in 2014 and 76 in 2015. One reason for the uptick this year stems from the city offering transgender-inclusive health care to its employees.

The score is calculated using several factors, including employment policies, nondiscrimination laws, city services, and law enforcement relations for a city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer residents.

Mr. Kapszukiewicz said this development felt personal to him, and recalled his 2002 effort to establish domestic partnership benefits in the city. He was a city councilman at the time, and received criticism for his position.

“My party rescinded an endorsement, the mayor stopped talking to me, and there were some political downsides to that,” Mr. Kapszukiewicz said. “But I’ve never been more proud of anything I’ve done. I want to point out how far this country has come in such a short amount of time.”

Councilman Nick Komives said everyone benefits from LGBTQ advancement.

“There’s not a person listening right now that doesn't know somebody who is LGBTQ,” Mr. Komives said. “We’re lawyers, doctors, city council members, nurses. We’re on the lines at Jeep and Chrysler. We work at your favorite coffee shop. We deserve all the rights that come with being an American."

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