The Human Rights Campaign
gave Tucson a score of 100 for being LGBT inclusive, despite being located in a state that not too long ago promoted legislation that would have allowed businesses to deny service based on sexual orientation.
The country's largest LGBT civil rights organization released its 2015 Municipal Equality Index
Thursday, which every year measures cities' progression in ensuring LGBT equality.
The group looks at things like a municipality's employment non-discrimination policies—including transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage, which neither the City of Tucson or Pima County currently provide, but Tucson's good performance in other areas helped it score a 100, such as offering same-sex domestic partner registry, and civil union certificates, long before same-sex marriage was legalized in Arizona. Law enforcement relationship with LGBT people, and the equality advocacy are also considered in the equality index.
Phoenix and Tempe were the only other cities that got a perfect score. Then there were towns like Glendale that received a sad 29/100.
"While this has been an historic year for equality, we are constantly reminded of just how far we still have to go,” said HRC President Chad Griffin in a statement. “In too many communities, LGBT Americans continue to face barriers to equality, overt discrimination, and even violence. We believe those challenges make full equality and strong legal protections all the more important, and today's report makes clear that hundreds of local communities throughout all 50 states wholeheartedly agree.”
“Across the nation, cities and towns are leading the way on equality for millions of LGBT Americans. This year, a record number of communities have earned top scores in our Municipal Equality Index because they’ve extended fully-inclusive benefits and protections to LGBT people and their families. What makes this progress especially remarkable is that these cities and towns are often going above and beyond state and federal laws to ensure LGBT residents and visitors are protected and treated equally."
In total, 47 cities earned a perfect score, up from 38 last year.