A gay pride rainbow flag. Photo by Ludovic Bertron via Wikimedia Commons
A gay pride rainbow flag. Photo by Ludovic Bertron via Wikimedia Commons

Renowned gay-friendly cities of West Hollywood and Palm Springs aren’t the only Southern California towns concerned about rights for the LGBTQ community.

Los Angeles and Long Beach are also among California cities that received high marks Monday in a study of local government attentiveness to LGBT issues.

All those cities, and a few others, each earned perfect scores of 100 in the Municipal Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign.

The average of California cities surveyed was 73, and the national average was 55.

“This year, dozens of cities across the nation showed they are willing to stand up for LGBTQ people in their communities even when some state governments are not,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.

“This builds on a trend we have long observed — that local governments are at the forefront of our fight for equality,” Griffin said. “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.”

The survey rates cities on 41 criteria, including passage of non- discrimination laws, employment and contracting policies, transgender benefits, inclusiveness of city services, law enforcement and representation by LGBT leaders.

Eleven cities in California received perfect scores, compared to eight last year. Along with Los Angeles, Long Beach and West Hollywood, they were San Diego, Cathedral City, Guerneville, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Jose.

The number of U.S. cities that scored 100 in this year’s survey was 60, up from 47 last year and 38 the year before.

For the first time this year, the index deducted points from the scores of cities that have non-discrimination protections that prohibit people from using public facilities consistent with their gender identity.

Also, a new category of points was created to recognize cities that are offering transgender-specific city services.

—City News Service

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