Long Beach Achieves Perfect Score (Plus 9 Bonus Points) for LGBT Equality

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For three years in a row, the City of Long Beach has been named one of the best cities in the nation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) inclusion in municipal law and policy. Long Beach was one of only 38 cities nationwide to achieve a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI), placing the City in the top 11 percent in the nation.

Long Beach has a strong and proud history of diversity and inclusiveness,” Mayor Robert Garcia said. “This recognition illustrates our commitment to respecting the rights of all people in Long Beach.”

Long Beach has long recognized LGBT rights in its municipal laws and policies. Examples highlighted in the report include the Contractor Non-Discrimination Ordinance, the Equal Benefits Ordinance, availability of Domestic Partner Health Benefits, the Human Relations Commission, the City’s engagement with the LGBT community, the Police Department’s LGBT Liaison, City leadership’s public positions regarding LGBT equality, the City Council’s pro-equality legislative and policy efforts, and the City’s openly LGBT leadership.

Cities are rated on a scale of 0-100, with bonus points awarded for items which apply to some, but not all cities. The City of Long Beach received nine bonus points this year.

The MEI rates municipalities drawn from every state in the nation on the basis of how inclusive their laws and policies are of LGBT people. These laws and policies include non-discrimination laws, equal employee benefits, relationship recognition, inclusive city services and leadership on matters of equality.

The 353 cities and municipalities rated in the 2014 MEI represent a total population of 84,442,640, which was an increase from 291 cities with a total population of 77,851,822 in 2013.

According to the 2014 MEI:

  • 25 percent of cities scored over 80 points
  • 25 percent of cities scored fewer than 44 points
  • The average score was 59
  • 34 million have more inclusive laws at the municipal level than they do at the state level

This year, the cities rated included the 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities in the United States, the four largest cities or municipalities in each state, the city home to the state’s largest public university (including undergraduate and graduate enrollment) and 75 cities and municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. The report is available at www.hrc.org/mei.

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