Mayor Robert Garcia speaks at Harvey Milk Promenade Park in 2016, a day after the deadly Orlando shooting in a gay night club. File photo.
The City of Long Beach has been named one of the best cities in the nation for the LGBTQ community to live and work in the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, city officials announced earlier this month.
This is the sixth year in a row that the city received the recognition. It was one of only 68 out of 506 cities nationwide to achieve a perfect score in the MEI.
“Long Beach takes pride in the accomplishments and contributions of our LGBTQ community,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. “We will continue to celebrate our City’s diversity and remain committed to strengthening the communities that make our city great.”
The 2017 report highlighted examples of the city’s municipal laws and policies, including the non-discrimination laws pertaining to employment, housing and public accommodations, among others.
This year, the city received a new record score of 100, plus 10 bonus points.
Eleven other cities in the state received perfect scores. Taking into account the total scores plus bonus points, Long Beach tied with San Diego for fourth-highest ranking in the state, scoring lower than San Francisco, West Hollywood and Los Angeles.
The MEI examines laws, policies and services of municipalities and rates them based on their inclusivity of LGBT people who live and work there.
The 2017 MEI rated 506 cities from every state in the country, with a total population of 94,237,171. Those cities include the 50 state capitols, the 200 largest cities in the U.S., the five largest cities or municipalities in each state, 99 cities home to the state’s two largest public universities, 25 cities and municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples and 98 cities selected by those affiliated with the Human Rights Campaign.
It found that only 25 percent of the cities scored over 79 points and nationally, the average city score was 57 points. In California, the average score was 76, up three points from last year. Also, there are 24 million people who live in cities with fully-inclusive local protections that are not guaranteed by the states in which they live and there are 41 “All-Star” cities, or cities that scored above 85 points despite being in states with no state-level LGBTQ protections.
Read the report here.