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, the city announced Thursday. Long Beach was one of 47 cities across the nation to be given a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index (MEI).
“Long Beach has a strong and proud history of diversity and inclusiveness,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. “This recognition illustrates our commitment to respecting the rights of all people in Long Beach.”
This will be the fourth consecutive year Long Beach has been recognized by Human Rights Campaign for upholding LGBT rights in its municipal laws and policies. The MEI examines the laws, policies, and services of municipalities and rates them on the basis of their inclusivity of LGBT people who live and work there. According to the release, the 2015 MEI rated a total of 408 cities from every state in the nation, with a total population of 89,260,006 people. The 2014 MEI rated 353 cities, with a total population of 84,442,640.
The report highlighted examples such as the Contractor Non-Discrimination Ordinance; Trans-Inclusive Health Benefits; the Human Relations Commission; 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 LGBT leadership, according to the release.
The City of Long Beach was given a score of 100, and additionally seven bonus points. While cities are rated on a scale of 0-100, bonus points may be awarded for items which apply to some, but not all cities, according to the release.
In this year’s MEI, 11 percent of the cities earned 100 points, while the average city score was 56 points nationwide. California’s cities hovered above the nation’s average with 73 points, with seven other cities scoring a perfect 100. According to the release, 32 million people live in cities with fully-inclusive local protections that are not guaranteed by the states in which they reside.