Los Angeles gets mocked and dumped upon by all kinds of outside critics, but they can't say it isn't a great place to be gay.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights organization based in Washington D.C., Los Angeles is one of the top 11 gay-friendly cities in the United States. In fact, L.A. scored a perfect 100 in HRC's “municipal equality index” — a better grade than gay mecca West Hollywood, which scored a 98.
Los Angeles stands with Boston, Cambridge, St. Louis, Seattle, Philadelphia, Portland, New York City, Long Beach, San Diego, and San Francisco as cities that scored 100.
That so many California cities ranked high shouldn't come as much of a surprise — except for gay marriage, California has some of the strongest gay rights laws in the United States.
Even the same-sex marriage ban may change soon — Proposition 8 has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge and the U.S. Supreme Court may take up the matter on appeal.
Los Angeles got the 100 rating because of high marks in non-discrimination laws, same-sex relationship recognition, services and programs for the LGBT community, law enforcement's relationship with gays and lesbians, its role as employer of LBGTs, and the city government's all-around gay-friendly policies.
And to think that only 40 or 50 years ago, L.A. was one of the worst places in the United States to be openly gay, with the Los Angeles Police Department literally terrorizing gays and lesbians.
L.A. ranked higher than West Hollywood in the area of services and programs for LGBTs: West Hollywood scored an 11 in that category and L.A. received an 18. Interestingly enough, West Hollywood City Council members always make a big deal about the city's services and programs for the LGBT community, but it's clearly lacking compared to L.A.
L.A. also earned a better ranking when it came to law enforcement's relationship with gays and lesbians: Los Angeles got an 18 compared to West Hollywood's 14.
West Hollywood's lower ranking in terms of services and programs isn't surprising. In the 2010 L.A. Weekly cover story, “West Follywood,” it was found that West Hollywood's budget for social services has essentially stayed the same since 1985.
Anyhow, Los Angeles loves the gays.
Contact Patrick Range McDonald at email@example.com.
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