Orlando, Miami, Tampa ranked tops for gay rights, Jax worst
A new national report card compiled by gay rights groups rating cities for lesbian, gay, and transgender protections looks at 11 Florida cities with sizeable gay populations and finds that Orlando, Miami and Tampa do the best job of proecting the rights of gay residents, while Jacksonville does the worst. The Municipal Equality Index (MEI) produced by the Human Rights Campaign and assorted state groups, including Equality Florida, rates cities based on 47 criteria falling under six broad categories:
· Non-discrimination laws;
· Relationship recognition;
· The municipality’s employment practices;
· Inclusiveness of city services;
· Law enforcement; and
· Municipal leadership.
The average score for cities in Florida is 52 out of 100 points.
From best to last:
Tampa (66), and
Wilton Manors (62) & Fort Lauderdale (62)
Oakland Park (54)
St. Petersburg (46), Tallahassee (46)
Miami Shores (34)
"As cities compete for jobs and talent, their commitment to equality and fairness are increasingly deciding factors,” said Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith. "This equality report card is a great way to let cities know what it takes to lead and what they risk by falling behind."