The Human Rights Campaign has released its annual Municipality Equality Index and three Florida cities earned perfect scores.
Orlando, St. Petersburg and Wilton Manors scored 100 percent in the annual ratings, which are based on 41 criteria in five broad categories. Those categories are non-discrimination laws, municipal employment policies including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage and non-discrimination requirements for contractors, inclusiveness of city services, law enforcement including hate crimes reporting and municipal leadership on matters of equality.
A total of 408 cities were rated with 47 receiving perfect scores.
“As a result of our significant efforts, our MEI perfect score demonstrates the progress our community has made and validates our commitment to have an inclusive government that promotes diversity and benefits all sectors of society, including the LGBT community,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, in a news release.
The rest of Florida’s cities and their respective rankings are as follows: Tampa (95), Tallahassee (88), Oakland Park (86), Miami Shores (85), Pembroke Pines (81), Fort Lauderdale (80), Gainesville (70), Miami (52), Hialeah (47), Hollywood (42), Cape Coral (26), Jacksonville (26) and Port St. Lucie (14).
Fort Lauderdale missed a perfect score by failing to have an LGBT liaison in Mayor Jack Seiler’s office, not providing transgender inclusive healthcare benefits and lack of enumerated anti-bullying school policies. Miami flunked the law enforcement section with no LGBT police liaison or task force and failing to report hate crime statistics to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2013.