Our mayor was the grand marshal of the Baltimore Pride Parade and presided over a mass gay wedding, so perhaps it’s no surprise that Baltimore got named one of the most gay-friendly cities in the country by Human Rights Campaign.
The Municipality Equality Index ranked 291 cities by factors including things like same sex marriage, non-discrimination laws, and anti-bullying policies in schools. Baltimore came out with perfect scores in five of the six categories HRC looked at; the only reason we got points docked was that we don’t have a non-discrimination or equal benefits ordinance for city contractors. But, thanks to extra credit points for things like transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits, we ended up with a perfect score of 100. (The national average was a measly 57.)
Our 100 point score means we “serve as [a] shining example of LGBT inclusivity, with excellent policies ranging from non-discrimination laws, equal employment benefits, and cutting-edge city services,” HRC says. Twenty-five cities received a perfect score this year, including Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Atlanta— that’s more than double the number that did last year.