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St. Petersburg continues to earn perfect score on LGBTQ+ equality rating

St. Petersburg earned a 100 for a ninth year in a row.
Flags during the St. Pete Pride Parade on Saturday, June 25, 2022 in St. Petersburg.
Flags during the St. Pete Pride Parade on Saturday, June 25, 2022 in St. Petersburg. [ LAUREN WITTE | Times ]
Published Nov. 17|Updated Nov. 18

Despite Florida’s so-called Don’t Say Gay law, St. Petersburg continues to earn high marks for its laws, policies and services that are inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, according to the latest yearly review by the Human Rights Campaign.

The campaign’s Municipal Equality Index evaluates hundreds of cities nationwide on 49 criteria ranging from non-discrimination laws, having an LGBTQ+ liaison in law enforcement, leadership on LGBTQ+ equality and municipal services. St. Petersburg is at the top of that list, earning a perfect score for the ninth year in a row.

Florida has received national attention this year for House Bill 1557 dubbed by authors as the “Parental Rights in Education” bill. It prohibits instruction related to sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grades. Opponents refer to it as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

Earlier this month, the Florida Board of Medicine, whose members are appointed by the governor, voted to prohibit doctors from providing certain medical treatments for minors with gender dysphoria.

The city of St. Petersburg announced the recognition in a news release Thursday morning that included an outdated link to last year’s rankings for other cities. The Human Rights Campaign is expected to release its full 2022 rankings Nov. 30.

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