National group gives four Florida cities perfect scores on LGBTQ policies

Four Florida cities – Miami Beach, Orlando, St. Petersburg and Tampa – got perfect 100 scores when it comes to LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law, policy and services, a new report says. Tallahassee came in with a 99 ranking.

The Human Rights Campaign’s annual Municipal Equality Index added new benchmarks in this year’s report, such as ensuring equal access to public restrooms, as well as protecting LGBTQ youth from bullying and from dangerous so-called “conversion therapy.”

The Index assesses each city on 49 criteria covering city-wide nondiscrimination protections, policies for municipal employees, city services, law enforcement, and the city leadership’s relationship with the LGBTQ community.

“In Tampa, we celebrate our diversity as a strength and value the inherent contributions of everyone regardless of how you came here, the God you worship or who you love, and HRC’s score card is proof that we practice what we preach,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “Tampa is stronger and more competitive when we pull together and I am proud that our commitment to human rights for all our citizens is being recognized.”

St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman was more succinct in his reaction, tweeting “proud” next to a link to the announcement.

The Human Rights Campaign said that a record 78 cities across the country received perfect scores for advancing LGBTQ-inclusive laws and policies, up from 68 in 2017 and 11 in 2012, the first year that the group introduced its Municipal Index.

A total of 18 Florida cities were listed in the report. The lowest ranked city was Daytona Beach, which received a 30 ranking.

 

Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry has spent the past 18 years covering news and politics in the Sunshine State, most recently with FloridaPolitics.com. He worked for five years as the political editor of Creative Loafing in Tampa, and before that he was the assistant news director at WMNF radio, where he served as creator/anchor/producer of the hour-long WMNF Evening News. A San Francisco native, Mitch began his career at KPFA Radio in Berkeley in the 1990's.

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