The city strives to create and preserve an environment free from discomfort or pressure relating to any personal characteristic such as personal appearance or sexual orientation. Sexual orientation means a person's heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or gender identity and expression.
In furtherance of its commitment to tolerance and fair treatment to all, the City has established an LGBTQ+ liaison.
If you believe that you have experienced or observed harassment or discrimination related to these issues, please email Adrian Capers Swinton.
In 2018, the City of Charleston passed the state's first Hate Crime Ordinance, which makes it a crime to intimidate any person on the basis of their actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability or national origin.
Learn more about the CPD Safe Place Program, a signage program being implemented around the city, where local supporting community members, businesses, schools, and organizations, have the opportunity to visibly display their support for the LGBTQ+ community and work closely with the Charleston Police Department in an effort to encourage reporting and reducing anti-LGBTQ+ crimes.
Each year, the city of Charleston participates in the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index, which, "examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies, and services are of LGBTQ+ people who live and work there. Cities are rated based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and leadership on LGBTQ+ equality," and consistently scores among the top municipalities in South Carolina.
Did you know...Charleston Police Department has the only gender identity and sexual orientation training for law enforcement in the state of South Carolina. All new CPD recruits receive the training.