For five years in a row, the City of Long Beach has been named one of the best cities in the nation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) inclusion in municipal law and policy. Long Beach was one of only 60 cities nationwide to achieve a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index (MEI).
“We are extremely proud of this important recognition,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Our longstanding commitment to diversity, inclusiveness and respect for all people is a testament to our character as a world-class city,” said Mayor Robert Garcia.
Long Beach has long recognized LGBT rights in its municipal laws and policies. Examples highlighted in the report include the Contractor Non-Discrimination Ordinance; Trans-Inclusive Health Benefits; the Human Relations Commission; the Police Department’s LGBT Liaison; City leadership’s public positions regarding LGBT equality; the City Council’s pro-equality legislative and policy efforts; and the City’s LGBT leadership.
The City of Long Beach received a score of 100, plus eight bonus points this year. Cities are rated on a scale of 0-100, with bonus points awarded for items which apply to some, but not all cities.
The MEI examines the laws, policies, and services of municipalities and rates them on the basis of their inclusivity of LGBT people who live and work there. The 2016 MEI rated 506 cities from every state in the nation, with a total population of 94,237,171 people. The 2015 MEI rated 408 cities, with a total population of 89,260,006.
According to the 2016 MEI:
• Only 12 percent of the cities scored 100 points.
• Nationally the average city score was 55 points; in California the average score was 73.
• Nine other cities in California received perfect scores.
• 24 million people live in cities with fully-inclusive local protections that are not guaranteed by the states in which they live.
The 506 cities rated by the MEI include the 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities in the United States, the five largest cities or municipalities in each state, the cities home to the state’s two largest public universities (including undergraduate and graduate enrollment), 75 cities and municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples, and 98 cities selected by members and supporters of HRC and Equality Federation state organizations.
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. The report is available at www.hrc.org/mei