New York City earns high marks for its treatment of the LGBTQ community, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
The HRC awarded the city a perfect score—the fifth consecutive year it has achieved the top rating.
“New York City is the birthplace of the LGBT rights movement and has long been a haven for those who have sought a more welcoming place to live, love and work,” said first lady Chirlane McCray, co-chair of the city’s Commission on Gender Equity. “I am proud of this honor, which reflects the tremendous progress that has been made.”
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The HRC Foundation on Monday released its fifth annual Municipal Equality Index, which it describes as “the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policy.”
The index looks at how cities are taking it upon themselves to protect the LGBTQ community with laws and policies prohibiting discrimination along with making sure everyone has the same access to city services and public accommodations.
New York received a perfect score, 100 percent, across five categories, as well as 16 bonus points for achievements like having an openly LGBTQ municipal leader (elected or appointed) and for being pro-equality despite more restrictive state laws.
New York was one of 60 cities to earn perfect scores this year, according to the HRC. This is up from 47 in 2015 and 11 in 2012, the first year of the index. The Municipal Equality Index rates 506 cities nationwide.
The average city score was 55 points, according to the HRC.
The index looks at 44 criteria under five broad categories for all cities: non-discrimination laws, municipal employment policies like transgender-inclusive insurance coverage and non-discrimination requirements for contractors, inclusiveness of city services, law enforcement and its reporting of hate crimes and municipal leaderships on matters of equality.
“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,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a news release. “This builds on a trend we have long observed: that local governments are at the forefront of our fight for equality."