The HRC Foundation’s Municipal Equality Index took city provision of services to the LGBTQ community, non-discrimination law and leadership into account for its scores. Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego and two other local cities were among those boasting top scores on a survey of the best places in the nation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer inclusion in municipal law and policy.

Some cities, like San Diego, Chula Vista and Oceanside, earned bonus points for items such as having openly LGBTQ elected officials, offering domestic partner benefits and providing services to youth and older adults.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Municipal Equality Index scored 506 cities nationwide; 110 achieved top scores of 100.

The only other local city measured was Escondido, which scored 60.

The index examines laws, policies and services of municipalities and rates them based on their inclusivity of LGBTQ people who live and work there.

Examples highlighted in the 2021 report include:

  • protection of youth from conversion therapy
  • non-discrimination in city employment
  • workplace inclusivity
  • availability of transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits
  • LGBTQ liaisons in the city’s executive office and police department

San Diego received perfect scores in all major categories, including non-discrimination laws, the municipality as employer, municipal services, law enforcement and leadership on LGBTQ equality.

Escondido lagged particularly in the areas of municipal services and leadership.

The 2021 index boasted the largest number of top-scoring cities in its history, the highest overall average and growth in every region of the country.

This year, a total of 16 California cities earned the top score of 100, including Long Beach, Riverside, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“It is an honor for our city to be recognized for our unwavering commitment to the LGBTQ community for the 10th consecutive year,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “We are very proud of our efforts and completely committed to ensuring Long Beach remains a place where everyone – regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity – is welcome.”

The number of cities that scored 100 points was up from 94 last year. Nationally, the average city score was 67 points.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for LGBTQ Americans.

– Staff and wire reports

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