Philadelphia, Seattle at Top of HRC's Equality Index
By Michael Regula
This year's HRC report rates a total of 291 on a scale of 0-100, where bonus points can be awarded where programming or actions apply to some but not all cities, such as anti-bullying protection in schools. The ratings, independent of state and the federal law, don’t reflect on the greater overall rights of citizens such as marriage equality, and are not intended to reflect atmosphere or quality of life. However, the ratings serve as an accurate indicator of which cities have adopted policies to protect its LGBT employees and citizens.
The results of this year’s MEI prove that cities of all sizes across the nation are progressing toward equality and taking LGBT issues seriously in 2013. Of the 25 cities that scored 100 points, only six (24%) have populations of over a million people.
One of the larger cities to have received the 100-point distinction was Philadelphia, which tacked on an addition 13 bonus points moving it tie for top spot with last year’s top scorer Seattle. The latter city is also known to have the nation's highest concentration of same-sex couples.
In response to the rating, president and CEO of Visit Philadelphia Meryl Levitz said, “We thank the Human Rights Campaign for recognizing what we know: Philadelphia is a warm and welcoming city with a tradition of making people feel at home. We value and celebrate the contributions of the city’s LGBT community.” She added that through its marketing campaigns, “Philadelphia officially ‘came out' as a gay-friendly city a decade ago, and we're still inviting people to be a part of it.”
Results are easily accessible via the HRC website, making it easy to find your city's 2013 MEI scorecard, or view the entire report to get a greater picture of reform sweeping the country in 2013. To view your cities recently profiled on Out Traveler, click the link below.