Long Beach earns record score on LGBTQ equality index

If you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ), Long Beach is a great place to live and work.

That was the message from this year’s Municipal Equality Index, which measures cities nationwide on their LGBTQ-friendly policies.

The annual index from Human Rights Campaign has consistently named Long Beach as one of the best cities for its LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policies.

More than 500 cities were rated on a scale of 0 to 100, with bonus points for items that apply to some cities. This year, Long Beach was one of 78 cities to receive a perfect 100 score—plus 11 bonus points.

Long Beach tied with San Diego for second place in the state, with San Francisco taking the top spot.

“We are proud to be recognized once again for our commitment to improving the quality of life for our LGBTQ community,” Mayor Robert Garcia, who is openly gay, said in a statement. “Long Beach is and will remain a welcoming place for all.”

Some of the city’s efforts to recognize LGBTQ rights include: employment non-discrimination laws, transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits; a local Human Rights Commission and a task force in the police department.

Nationally, the average score was 58 points, with just 25 percent of cities scoring over 83 points. In California, the average score was 77.

The report is available at www.hrc.org/mei.

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Kelly Puente is an award-winning general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. She has worked as a journalist in Long Beach since 2006, covering everything from education and crime to courts and breaking news. Kelly previously worked at the Long Beach Press-Telegram and the Orange County Register before joining the Post in 2018. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].