The news website released its 2014 Queer Index, which ranks the 100 most populous U.S. cities on LGBT-friendliness. The index uses 32 data sets to measure 16 different factors, including laws such as those on same-sex marriage as well as statistics like the number of gay bars, newspapers, hate crimes, and out singles in a metropolis.
Using these measurements, the City of Angels was declared the “jewel” in the crown of queer-friendly cities, due to its booming population of LGBT singles looking for a thriving nightlife (the report shows L.A. with 29.9 bars and clubs per 100,000 people) as well as couples seeking to legally marry and settle down.
Landing in a close second, New York was lauded for its status as "the unofficial home of the modern gay rights movement" as well as “a mecca for gay and gender-variant youth. With more watering holes per capita than anywhere in U.S., the bar culture cannot be beat. And while your Grindr account will get a thorough workout here, there’s a lot going on beyond booze and hookups; New York ranks No. 1 in terms of cultural events and LGBT-specific sports teams.”
San Francisco and Chicago were also ranked in the top five, but the true “jaw-dropper” of the report was the listing of Des Moines, which took the number 4 spot.
“Who knew the 'No. 1 spot for U.S. insurance companies' was also such a hotbed of gay activity?” Vocativ writes. “This well-kept secret has officially entered the major leagues, thanks to its inclusive attitude toward adoption and marriage equality, not to mention its high-profile out politicians,” including Matt McCoy, a state senator, and Daniel Lundby, a state representative.
The complete ranking is as follows: 1. Los Angeles; 2. New York; 3. San Francisco; 4. Des Moines; 5. Chicago; 6. Seattle; 7. Albany, N.Y.; 8. Rochester, N.Y.; 9. Denver; 10. Madison, Wis.; 11. Harrisburg, Pa.; 12. Hartford, Conn.; 13. Providence, R.I.; 14. San Diego; 15. Washington, D.C.; 16. Portland, Ore.; 17. San Jose, Calif.; 18. Boston; 19. Sacramento; 20. Minneapolis; 21. Chattanooga, Tenn.; 22. Milwaukee; 23. Honolulu; 24. Riverside, Calif.; 25. Las Vegas; 26. Worcester, Mass.; 27. Fresno, Calif.; 28. Philadelphia; 29. Stockton, Calif.; 30. Atlanta; 31. New Haven, Conn.; 32. Syracuse, N.Y.; 33. Bakersfield, Calif.; 34. Buffalo, N.Y.; 35. Oxnard, Calif.