Three Arizona cities maintain perfect scores on LGBTQ policies




    Photo via ONE Community Foundation

    Phoenix, Tucson and Tempe held onto their perfect scores in the Human Rights Campaign’s annual LGBTQ inclusivity rankings for municipalities.

    The Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group for LGBTQ rights, announced that 88 cities achieved perfect scores of 100 points in its Municipal Equality Index, a record number in its eight-year history. The previous high was 78 municipalities in 2018. In 2012, the survey’s first year, only 12 cities had perfect scores.

    There was effectively no movement in the scores of the 11 Arizona cities surveyed as part of the Municipal Equality Index. Peoria had the lowest score of the group with 23 points, followed by Avondale with 28 points.

    The Arizona cities scored by the survey are:

    • Avondale: 28 points
    • Chandler: 58 points
    • Flagstaff: 88 points
    • Gilbert: 56 points
    • Glendale: 62 points
    • Mesa: 56 points
    • Peoria: 23 points
    • Phoenix: 100 points
    • Scottsdale: 64 points
    • Tempe: 100 points
    • Tucson: 100 points

    The only city on the list that saw a change from its 2018 score was Gilbert, which gained a single point, moving up to 56. Under the rubric of “Leadership on LGBTQ Equality,” which measures “city leadership’s commitment to fully include the LGBTQ and to advocate for full equality,” Gilbert got 4 of 5 possible points for leadership’s “public position on LGBTQ equality,” up from 3 last year.

    HRC did not elaborate on what led to the city’s improved score.

    Though scoring is technically capped at 100 points, cities can earn up to 22 bonus points. Once bonus points are factored in, Tempe had the most total points, with a perfect 100 in standard scoring, plus 9 bonus points for things like providing domestic partner benefits to city employees, providing services aimed at LGBTQ youth, and having openly LGBTQ elected or appointed municipal leaders.

    Phoenix had 96 out of 100 points in standard scoring and 11 bonus points, while Tucson had 93 standard points and 11 bonus points.

    Scoring is based on five categories: non-discrimination laws for sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations; non-idscrimination laws for the city as an employer, including in hiring, city contractors and transgender-inclusive health care benefits; efforts to ensure the inclusion of LGBTQ residents; law enforcement practices, including whether the police department has an LGBTQ liaison or task force; and city leadership’s position on LGBTQ equality, both in their public positions and through official policy.

    For each state, the Human Rights Campaign surveys the state capital, the 200 largest cities in the United States, each state’s five largest cities, the two cities with the state’s largest public universities, 75 municipalities with high proportions of same-sex couples, and 98 other cities chosen by HRC members and supporters. 

    Jeremy Duda
    Associate Editor Jeremy Duda is a Phoenix native and began his career in journalism in 2003 after graduating from the University of Arizona. Prior to joining the Arizona Mirror, he worked at the Arizona Capitol Times, where he spent eight years covering the Governor's Office and two years as editor of the Yellow Sheet Report. Before that, he wrote for the Hobbs News-Sun of Hobbs, NM, and the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah. Jeremy is also the author of the history book “If This Be Treason: the American Rogues and Rebels Who Walked the Line Between Dissent and Betrayal.”