What are the best 2017 LGBTQ cities?
Here’s some good news: despite the anti-LGBT initiatives by the Trump administrations, we got a record number of best 2017 LGBTQ cities thanks to their efforts in advancing LGBT rights this year.
That’s right, despite the slew of anti-LGBT bills in state legislatures, US cities are still rooting for equal rights for LGBT communities.
Cities fighting for LGBTQ rights are increasing
In a report by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation and the Equality Federation Institute, 68 cities scored perfect in pushing LGBTQ inclusive policies and practices for 2017.
Sarah Warbelow, legal director for HRC, said the report by the two LGBT advocacy groups ranking the advances of the cities documented the “encouraging steady trend toward full municipal LGBTQ equality.”
HRC has been been running this report– the Municipal Equality Index (MEI) scorecard– for six years now.
Among the significant progress has been on transgender equality with 25 cities revising city health employee health care plans this year to cover transgender-related health services.
With this, there are now 111 cities nationwide offering this type of health services, from five in 2012 to 86 in 2016.
Best 2017 LGBTQ cities in the time of Trump
This particular progress is important, given the more than 100 anti-LGBTQ bills that are being pushed in 29 states with the transgender community being targeted by 39 of these bills.
Likewise, there have been federal level rollbacks of LGBTQ protection, like the reversal of guidance issued by the departments of Justice and Education on Title IX protecting transgender students.
Recently, President Trump also wanted to reinstate a ban on transgender troops in the military.
“Municipalities from every corner of the country– no matter their size or political leaning– continue to strive to realize the fundamental American value that no one should live with the fear of being fired, evicted or excluded from public places simply because of who they are or who they love,” Warbelow said.
The report also noted that more cities have modified their administrative policies to address discrimination.
Eighteen cities updated their equal employment opportunity policies while 13 now extend employment non-bias requirements to contracted businesses.
However, the report acknowledged limitations by some jurisdictions to address LGBTQ rights because of state laws while other states already have enacted inclusive policies.
Pittsburgh tops best 2017 LGBTQ cities
Among the many improvements, Pittsburgh was cited as 2017’s success stories with a bill passed by the City Council to protect the youth from conversion therapy.
Corey Buckner, community affairs manager in the mayor’s office, said: “When our city government enacted this bill, I knew that Pittsburgh will be a catalyst for our commonwealth and our nation.”
The 2017 MEI rated a total of 506 cities in every state of the nation on 44 different criteria.
To see how your city did in the MEI as well as read the whole report, check out the HRC’s link here.