Atlanta so gay, it’s perfect on LGBT inclusion

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Nevermind those dismal election results last week. Atlanta still remains perfect when it comes to being progressive, again scoring a 100 on a new report for its LGBT equality efforts.

Atlanta notched a perfect 100 on HRC's 2014 Municipal Equality Index, released on Wednesday, marking the second consecutive year it's done so. But the scores of other cities across the state, including gay-friendly Decatur, were pathetic.

Like 2013, just one city in the state other than Atlanta broke 50 – Avondale Estates at 58. That means the gay-popular suburb, along with Decatur and five other cities in the state flunked when it came to LGBT inclusion, according to HRC.

The Georgia cities, their scores and links to their reports:

Athens, 46

Atlanta, 100

Augusta-Richmond, 10

Avondale Estates, 58

Columbus, 21

Decatur, 46

North Druid Hills, 11

Savannah, 18

“In this country there is an ongoing race to the top to treat all people, including LGBT people, fairly under the law. It’s time our state and federal laws caught up,” HRC President Chad Griffin says in a press release.

Atlanta is the only city in the state to score a perfect 100, one of just 38 cities to do so among the municipalities HRC ranked. It also was included among the list of MEI “All-Stars,” the 23 municipalities that HRC says are cities that score highly in states without LGBT supportive laws.

HRC's report scores municipalities on 47 criteria across six categories – non-discrimination laws, relationship recognition, policies and benefits for LGBT city workers, inclusiveness of city services, law enforcement and city leadership on equality issues. For the first time, the report also included whether a city offers transgender-inclusive health care benefits.

The 2014 report rated some 353 cities across the U.S., including the 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities, four largest cities in each state, the city home to the state's largest public university and 75 others that have high proportions of same-sex couples. That last one explains the inclusion of North Druid Hills, even though it's not a real municipality.

UPDATE | Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said he's “proud” that the city again acheieved a perfect score on the report card.

“This city has a rich history of upholding human rights and providing equal opportunity to all people. It is my duty and honor to uphold this tradition. My Administration works to recognize and protect the dignity of all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. I am proud that the City’s accomplishments have been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign and am committed to earning a perfect score each year I am in office.”


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