A report published last week graded 506 cities around the U.S. on how inclusive their towns are to the LGBTQ community, and cities in the Mountain West are all over the map.
Missoula, Montana, Denver and Reno ranked among the 88 cities across the country that earned the top score of 100 in the eighth annual Municipal Equality Index, published by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the Equality Federation Institute. The scores are a measure of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law, policy and services.
Missoula also ranked among the report’s 59 “All-Star” cities, “those that scored above 85 points despite being in a state with no state-level LGBTQ protections.”
But many other cities in the region scored very poorly, with all cities in Wyoming and Utah scoring under 70. Rock Springs, Wyoming was among the dozen cities earning a score of zero.
Overall, the 88 cities earning the maximum score of 100 points is up from 78 cities last year, and just 11 in 2012. And the national city average jumped to 60 points, up from 58 last year.
“Even against a backdrop of some states and the federal government working to roll back vital protections, city leaders are working tirelessly to ensure that their constituents—friends, family members, and neighbors—can secure housing, make a living, and participate in community life without being discriminated against because of who they are,” the report concludes.
Boise had the top score for LGBTQ inclusivity in Idaho with its non-discrimination laws and law enforcement practices. It scored 80. Moscow and Coeur d’Alene scored in the high 60’s. Idaho’s lowest score went to Idaho Falls with a 41.
Find reporter Madelyn Beck on Twitter @MadelynBeck8
Copyright 2019 Boise State Public Radio
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.