Wisconsin’s Most Inclusive Cities: Ranked

By Christina Lorey

December 16, 2022

Since 2018, Wisconsin has become a more inclusive place for members of the LGBTQ+ community, according to the latest report from the Human Rights Campaign.

Of the seven Badger State cities surveyed in the campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, all but two saw their scores increase from 2018 to 2022. But here’s the catch: those two, Madison and Milwaukee, had perfect scores both years.

The Scorecard

The Human Rights Campaign used policies like conversion therapy bans, non-discrimination ordinances, and hate crime reports to determine each city’s score.

Wisconsin cities earned an average score of 87 out of 100, almost 20 points higher than the national average of 68.

The Standouts

Green Bay and Racine are Wisconsin’s “most improved.” Green Bay’s score increased from 28 to 90, while Racine’s jumped from 41 to 100.

According to Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich, his city’s jump has been deliberate. Since elected in 2019, Genrich has created an equal rights commission and established a “pride team” at the Green Bay Police Department.

And in Racine, Mayor Cory Mason banned conversion therapy for anyone under 18 in 2019 and updated its non-discrimination laws.

The Stragglers

One of the biggest things Wisconsin cities can still do is pass a wide-reaching non-discrimination ordinance that includes language pertaining to gender identity. That’s because the state’s non-discrimination law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but not gender identity.

Overall Standings

  • Madison (100)
  • Milwaukee (100)
  • Racine (100)
  • Appleton (93)
  • Green Bay (90)
  • Oshkosh (78)
  • Kenosha (51)

Click here to view the full report.


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

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