Steve DiGioia

Virginia’s Beacon of Inclusivity: City Earns Top LGBTQ-Friendly Title


Virginia City, a historic mining town in Nevada, has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) as the most LGBTQ-friendly community in the state.

The city has achieved a remarkable score of 100 on the HRC’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI), making it stand out among the 94 cities worldwide that have also accomplished this feat. Notably, it is the sole city in Nevada to have achieved such a high score. 

The MEI evaluates the extent to which municipal laws, policies, and services cater to the needs of LGBTQ individuals residing and working in a specific area.

Virginia City: Leading in LGBTQ Inclusivity

Virginia City’s exceptional MEI score reflects its commitment to fostering an inclusive atmosphere for LGBTQ individuals and visitors. 

The city has implemented a range of policies and procedures to safeguard the rights and well-being of the LGBTQ community. These measures include:

  • Implementation of a comprehensive non-discrimination policy that encompasses sexual orientation and gender identity in various areas such as employment, housing, and public facilities.

  • The city employee handbook has been updated to include new sections that address and prohibit discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • Establishing a city commission dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion, providing valuable insights to the city council on LGBTQ issues. The police department regularly shares hate crime statistics with the FBI and actively works to build relationships with the LGBTQ community.

  • Include LGBTQ information and resources on the city’s website.

Implications for the LGBT Community

Virginia City’s reputation as a welcoming and inclusive city is of great importance to the LGBTQ community, particularly considering the unfortunate history of discrimination and violence in the state. The city’s dedication to creating an inclusive and secure environment aligns with its core values of diversity, inclusion, and respect.

In addition, Virginia City has a vibrant LGBTQ community that organizes various events and supports organizations dedicated to promoting LGBTQ culture and history. Some of these include:

  • The annual Virginia City Pride Festival features a vibrant procession, captivating live music, a variety of vendors, and inspiring speakers.

  • The Comstock LGBTQ History Project is dedicated to archiving and preserving the rich experiences of LGBTQ individuals during the nineteenth-century mining boom.

  • The Rainbow Comstock Coalition is dedicated to advocating for LGBTQ rights and providing support and resources to LGBTQ individuals of all ages.

Virginia City: A Model of LGBTQ Inclusion and Progress

Virginia City, a historic mining town in Nevada, has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) as the most LGBTQ-friendly community in the state.

Virginia City’s success in achieving LGBTQ equality and inclusion can serve as a shining example for other cities in Nevada and beyond. It showcases the potential for creating a forward-thinking and diverse community, even in rural and traditional areas. This not only has positive impacts on the LGBTQ community, but also contributes to the city’s economic growth, tourism industry, and overall reputation.

The city’s case shows that LGBTQ equality and inclusion extend beyond legal and regulatory matters; they are deeply rooted in a city’s culture and history. Virginia City acknowledges and honors its LGBTQ history, acknowledging the accomplishments and challenges faced by LGBTQ individuals who have played a significant role in shaping its past and present.

In Summary

Virginia City in Nevada has been recognized as the most LGBTQ-friendly city in the state, receiving a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index. 

The city’s commitment to LGBTQ rights is evident through its proactive initiatives, such as non-discrimination legislation, a diversity and inclusion commission, and community involvement. 

Virginia City’s vibrant LGBTQ community and events showcase the power of inclusivity, serving as an inspiring model for other towns aspiring to foster diversity and equality.


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