Long Beach named as a top city for LGBTQ equality

Long Beach is one of the best cities in the nation when it comes to supporting its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.

The city for the eighth year in a row has been named as a top city for its LGBTQ-friendly local laws and policies, according to the 2019 Municipal Equality Index from the nonprofit Human Rights Campaign.

The annual report rated more than 500 municipalities from every state in the nation for their policies and services to support LGBTQ people who live and work there. The municipalities were given a score of 0 to 100, plus bonus points for those that were extra supportive.

This year, Long Beach was one of 88 cities and just two in California (the other was San Francisco) to receive a perfect score of 100, plus 11 bonus points.

Mayor Robert Garcia, who is openly gay, said Long Beach is proud of its commitment to LGBTQ inclusion.

“Long Beach is, and will always be, a place where everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, can live, work, and love.”

Some example of supportive services noted in the report included non-discrimination policies in city employment, workplace inclusivity and the availability of city employee domestic partner benefits.

While the report noted that some state legislatures and the federal government have worked to “block pro-equality measures,” many new cities, like Norman, Oklahoma and Overland Park, Kansas, have led the way in non-discrimination protections.

The reports noted that 88 cities scored 100 points this year, up from 78 last year. Nationally, the average was 60.

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Kelly Puente is a general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. Her prolific reporting has taken her all over Southern California—even to the small Catalina Island town of Two Harbors. She is a Tiki mug collector and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].