November 21, 2013– The City of Philadelphia was named the highest-ranking big city in the United States for LGBT equality, sharing the top spot among all cities with Seattle, Washington, in the 2013 edition of the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index: A Nationwide Evaluation of Municipal Law. The Human Rights Campaign is the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for LGBT Americans. Philadelphia was the highest scoring city of the ten largest cities and the highest scoring city without state legal protections or marriage-equality legislation.
“I am proud that the City of Philadelphia is the leading big city for LGBT law and policy in the Nation, earning a perfect score of 100 on the Municipal Equality Index,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Philadelphia values its residents, employees and visitors, and promotes fair, equitable treatment for all of them. It is my sincere hope that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will soon protect the rights of LGBT people at the same level, which includes overturning the current state-wide ban on same-sex marriage.”
The Municipal Equality Index is a ranking of governmental law, policy, and measures cities take to ensure LGBT inclusion in service delivery to its residents. The Index rated 291 cities across America including every state capitol, the 150 largest cities by population, the 3 largest cities or municipalities in each state, and 75 cities and municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples. Each city was evaluated on 47 criteria under six broad categories: non-discrimination laws; relationship recognition; employment practices; inclusiveness of city services; law enforcement; and municipal leadership.
“The City’s Municipal Equality Index score moved up to the top spot this year because we are steadily working to improve the lives of LGBT Philadelphians, most notably passing legislation which made significant changes to the City code and employee benefits this year,” said Gloria Casarez, Director of the Office of LGBT Affairs. “Philadelphia is now the largest city in the Nation offering transgender inclusive health benefits to City employees, setting a tone of workplace equality for the region.
To view the full report, log on to http://www.hrc.org/campaigns/municipal-equality-index.