HRC report ranks US cities on LGBT policies

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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has tabulated its 2014 ranking of US cities in terms of LGBT rights. The accompanying report throws light on some established trends within LGBT politics, namely a renewed focus at the local level and key importance of LGBT voices within governing bodies. Some possible surprises from it, however, are the number of high scoring municipalities in states not commonly held up as LGBT friendly.

Some eyebrows might raise over the high marks given to Dallas, Tampa, Dayton, and Salt Lake City—only the last of which has marriage equality under current law. Still, none of those cities managed a perfect score of 100 or more, which reflects the city’s anti-discrimination laws, employment policies, relationship recognition, and LGBT-focused social programs.

The forty-one cities that did, however, came from across the country, including many places where state laws are at odds with LGBT rights:

Arizona:
Phoenix
Tempe
Tucson

California:
Long Beach
Los Angeles
Palm Springs
San Diego
San Francisco
West Hollywood

Connecticut:
New Haven

Florida:
Miami Beach
Orlando
Saint Petersburg
Wilton Manners

Georgia:
Atlanta

Illinois:
Chicago
Evanston

Iowa:
Iowa City

Maryland:
Baltimore

Massachusetts:
Boston
Cambridge
Salem
Worcester

Michigan:
East Lansing

Minnesota:
Minneapolis
Saint Paul

Missouri:
Kansas City
Saint Louis

Montana:
Missoula

New Jersey:
Jersey City

New York:
New York City
Rochester

Ohio:
Cincinnati
Columbus

Oregon:
Portland

Pennsylvania:
Philadelphia

Rhode Island:
Providence

Texas:
Austin

Washington:
Olympia
Seattle

Wisconsin:
Madison

With three of those cities (Miami Beach, Evanston, and Salem) having volunteered to be put on the list, it’s rapidly becoming clear that being seen as LGBT friendly is something many cities and local governments are increasingly concerned about. The HRC has promised to keep an eye on that issue, in addition to the progress of marriage equality laws.

As the report concludes while discussing next year’s assessment, “the 2015 MEI scorecard will be revised to reflect the reality of the new legal landscape,” and that that means “the scorecard must be adjusted to ensure that stand out cities continue to stand out, and that the remaining work for other cities is not obscured.”

In other words, the HRC doesn’t want to let any of those cities rest on their laurels.

429Magazine

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