PHOENIX — In a new assessment by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, it found that many Arizona cities rank above the national average for LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law and policy.
The eighth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI) assessed LGBTQ equality in 506 cities in the nation, with being 11 in Arizona. It assessed the cities using 49 criterion including non-discrimination laws, municipality as an employer and services for the LGBTQ in the city.
The HRC and the Equality Federation Institute found that the national average score is 60 out of 100, and Arizona's average score is 67.
"This year's Municipal Equality Index shows that across the country, city leaders are working tirelessly to ensure that their constituents can secure housing, make a living and participate in community life without being discriminated against because of who they are. And the people overwhelmingly agree with these leaders: support for non-discrimination protections to protect LGBTQ people topped 70 percent, which includes a majority of Democrats, Republicans and Independents. These policies are not only the right thing to do, but they are also critical in driving economic success by attracting residents, visitors and businesses that place a high value on inclusivity," said HRC President Alphonso David.
Of the 506 cities, they assessed five of the largest cities or municipalities in every state, each state capital, 75 municipalities with a high amount of same-sex couples, 200 are the largest cities in the U.S., the cities located in the two largest public universities in each state, and 98 other cities chosen by the HRC and EFI.
Here is how 11 Arizona cities average:
- Phoenix, Arizona 100
- Tempe, Arizona 100
- Tucson, Arizona 100
- Flagstaff, Arizona 88
- Scottsdale, Arizona 64
- Glendale, Arizona 62
- Chandler, Arizona 58
- Mesa, Arizona 56
- Gilbert, Arizona 56
- Avondale, Arizona 28
- Peoria, Arizona 23
The MEI has tracked a "noteworthy" progress on transgender equality across the nation, since the report began in 2012. Healthcare benefits that are offered to transgender employees have grown, with 164 municipalities this year from just five in 2012.