Boston Earns a Perfect Score in LGBT Equality Ranking

The Human Rights Campaign assessed cities across America. Boston aced the test.

Olga Khvan

Olga Khvan

The Human Rights Campaign’s report card assessing Boston’s support for LGBT residents has come out, and it looks like Boston’s parents are going to be really happy with her this year.

HRC, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender civil rights organization, assessed the state of LGBT equality in a bunch of cities across America. The HRC gave each city a score out of 100, and the results confirm that Boston, along with some other cities assessed in Massachusetts, are the real goody-two-shoes of America.

On average, our cities scored a 78 out of 100 points. The national average is 59. Boston, Cambridge, and Worcester all scored perfect 100s, part of a growing number of American cities that have earned full scores in HRC’s ranking. “Thirty-eight cities received perfect scores, even with this year’s more demanding criteria; that’s up from 11 in 2012, and 25 in 2013,” according to a press release from HRC.

HRC also issued a report card showing the breakdowns across several categories for each city. The HRC looked at a city’s non-discrimination laws, recognition of relationships between same-sex couples, protections of city employees, municipal services (like a human rights commission and LGBT liaison to the mayor), law enforcement, and relationship to the community.

Lowell, meanwhile, received the lowest score among the Massachusetts cities examined by HRC, with a score of 53. A lot of those points came because of state laws since LGBT residents in Lowell gain some protections afforded by the state alone. (Twelve points for recognition of legal same sex marriages!) Lowell did win points of its own for offering services and support to those living with HIV and offering some benefits to city employees.

What makes a city more likely to have strong protections for LGBT residents, anyway? It’s not always the state’s leadership. According to HRC, 15 of cities with perfect scores are in states that don’t recognize LGBT relationships or have statewide non-discrimination laws. They did spot one correlation of note:

“Cities with a higher proportion of same-sex couples tended, not surprisingly, to score better, and the presence of openly-LGBT city officials and LGBT police liaisons also were correlated with higher scores.”