Philadelphia Earns Another Perfect Score On the HRC’s 2014 Municipal Equality Index

Somewhere Gloria Casarez is smiling.

Photo courtesy of Philly Bricks.

Photo courtesy of Philly Bricks

The Human Rights Campaign just released its third annual Municipal Equality Index, and for the second year in a row Philadelphia earned a perfect score of 100. Out of 353 cities assessed across the nation, Philly is one of 38 to receive a perfect score—and the only one in the state of Pennsylvania. Overall, the state earned an average of 80 points, which, while far from perfect, falls above the national average of 59. Here’s what other cities in the state scored:

  • Allentown: 85
  • Erie: 57
  • Harrisburg: 70
  • New Hope: 89
  • Pittsburgh: 90
  • University Park (State College): 66

According to the HRC, the Municipal Equality Index tallied scores based on six criteria: non-discirmination laws, relationship recognition, fair employment policies (including trans-inclusive coverage), inclusiveness of city services, law enforcement and municipal leadership on matters of equality—all things Philly has at least made big strides to improve.

Across the board, the country fared much better than in years past, showing an upward move in matters of equality nationwide. “From Mississippi to Idaho, mid-size cities and small towns have become the single greatest engine of progress for LGBT equality—changing countless lives for the better,” says HRC President Chad Griffin. “In just three years, the number of municipalities earning top marks for their treatment of LGBT citizens has more than tripled. Simply put, in this country there is an ongoing race to the top to treat all people, including LGBT people, fairly under the law, and it’s time our state and federal laws caught up.”

Check out some more key findings in the report below, then read the whole thing for yourself right here.

  • Cities in all regions of the country earned excellent scores, demonstrating that commitment to LGBT equality is not confined to parts of the country many people assume are most LGBT friendly;
  • 38 cities received perfect scores, even with this year’s more demanding criteria; that’s up from 11 in 2012, and 25 in 2013;
  • Cities continue to excel even without depending on state law: of cities that scored a perfect 100, 15 are in states that don’t have comprehensive relationship recognition or a statewide non-discrimination law; that’s up from eight cities last year, and just two in 2012
  • 32 million people now live in cities that have more comprehensive, transgender inclusive non-discrimination laws than their state or the federal government;
  • The average city score was 59 points, with half of the cities researched scoring over 61 points. Eleven percent scored 100 points; 25 percent scored over 80 points; 25 percent scored under 44 points; and four percent scored fewer than 10 points.
  • Cities with a higher proportion of same-sex couples tended, not surprisingly, to score better, and the presence of openly-LGBT city officials and LGBT police liaisons also were correlated with higher scores.