Philadelphia again received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.
Philadelphia has garnered the top score every year of the initiative, which debuted in 2012 to measure LGBT-friendly policies and programs. Philadelphia is one of three cities, along with New York City and San Francisco, to earn a raw 100 score and 16 bonus points, which were given for areas like trans-inclusive city services and an enforcement mechanism in the city’s nondiscrimination law.
Cities cannot surpass a 100; with bonus points included, Pittsburgh (97) and Allentown (91) also were given a 100.
The average for Pennsylvania was 75, above the national average of 57, and last year’s state average of 70.
Other Pennsylvania cities’ raw scores were: Carlisle (70), Erie (37), Harrisburg (54), New Hope (76), Reading (64), State College (71) and Wilkes-Barre (58). In New Jersey, the only city to achieve a 100 was Jersey City.
Overall, of the 506 cities rated, 68 reached a 100, including bonus points. Eighty-six cities in states that lack LGBT nondiscrimination laws, such as Pennsylvania, scored higher than the national average.
“Cities big and small, in red and blue states alike, are continuing our progress toward full equality, regardless of the political drama unfolding in Washington, D.C., and in state legislatures across the country,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “Today, the MEI serves as a vital tool for business leaders and municipal officials alike when it comes to economic development. CEOs know that in order to attract and retain the best employees, they must grow their companies in places that protect LGBTQ citizens from discrimination and actively open their doors to all communities.”