For the seventh year in a row, Wilton Manors lands on top of the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index annual report.
Wilton Manors Vice Mayor Paul Rolli said other cities have reached out to them over the years to ask how they continue to earn perfect scores.
“It’s simple — we create and implement policies and practices that promote equity and a safe environment for all who live in, work in, and visit Wilton Manors,” Rolli said. “I am so thankful that the Human Rights Campaign continues to recognize our leadership.”
Cities receive points based on their laws, policies, benefits and services. Some of the areas scored include “Law Enforcement” and “Municipal Services,” and “Leadership on LGBTQ Equality.” Wilton Manors received the most points available in each of those categories.
This is the ninth annual municipal equality list HRC has compiled. Across the U.S. 94 cities earned perfect scores this year — up from 88 last year. Wilton Manors, known as Broward County’s “gayborhood,” is one of those top scorers.
Chris Caputo, who was elected to the city commission just last month, is proud of the designation.
“Our city's laws and policies demonstrate our appreciation for diversity, including our support for transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits and our city contractor non-discrimination ordinance,” he said. “We deserve the international reputation we've received for being a great place for LGBTQ+ individuals and families to call home.”
Wilton Manors is home to several LGBT organizations including the Pride Center at Equality Park, SunServe and Latinos Salud.
Overall seven cities in Florida received perfect scores. The others include Orlando, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Miami Beach.
Next door Oakland Park received a 99.
All of the ranked cities in South Florida improved their scores over last year, or their scores stayed the same.
Digging deeper into the report shows that even among cities that achieved a perfect score there are potential areas for improvement. Beyond the 100 points, there are an additional 22 “flex” points that work like bonuses. So for instance cities that provide services to the transgender community receive two flex points. Only Wilton Manors in South Florida earned that bonus. However Wilton Manors did not receive any flex points for providing services to LGBT people experiencing homelessness.
More than 500 cities across the country were included in the report this year. Twenty-four cities in Florida were included.
“Residents and business owners in the City of Wilton Manors should be proud,” Caputo said.
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