The Most LGBTQ Friendly Cities In America Are Not The Ones You Think

Maybe America isn't so bad after all.

Every year, the Human Right's Campaign releases a new list of the cities considered the most friendly to LGBTQ people using parameters elaborated in the Municipal Equality Index. The idea behind the assessment is to show which states do the most to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination and violence. For the first time, 60 cities were shown to a have a perfect score in this regard.

Places like New York and San Francisco have reputations as the most socially accepting cities in the country, but some other surprising cities like Phoenix, Arizona and Orlando, Florida make surprise appearances as well. According to the LGBTQ Nation, the criteria for the rankings take into consideration "non-discrimination laws, municipal employment policies (including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage and non-discrimination requirements for contractors), inclusiveness of city services, law enforcement (including hate crimes reporting), and municipal leadership on matters of equality." Cities also received bonus points for having openly queer elected officials.

“This year, dozens of cities across the nation showed they are willing to stand up for LGBTQ people in their communities even when state governments are not,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Unfortunately, our opponents have witnessed this progress too, and in recent years, anti-LGBTQ lawmakers have pushed spiteful legislation aimed at pre-empting local protections. That’s why it’s so important that we continue to not only fight for equality at the state and local levels, but to enact comprehensive federal protections for LGBTQ people under the Equality Act.”

“Despite another year of legislative attacks on LGBTQ equality, we are not merely holding our ground; we also continue to make significant gains across the country,” said Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director of the Equality Federation Institute.

You can check out the full scoreboard by city over here.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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