Across the United States, cities are increasingly embracing equal treatment and access for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. In a foreword to this year’s Municipal Equality Index, Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), said that “cities continue to demonstrate that all corners of America are ready for equality.”
One issue important to LGBT Americans is same-sex marriage. According to research from the Pew Research Center, same-sex marriage is legal or will soon be legal in 35 states, as well as the District of Columbia. Ten years ago, gay marriage was explicitly legal in just one state — Massachusetts.
Still, there are many parts of the U.S. where LGBT citizens not only lack the right to marry but other fundamental protections. This year, 4% of all cities measured on the HRC’s Municipal Equality Index received scores of less than 10 on a scale of 0 to 100. Four cities received scores of 0, indicating that they lacked any of the policies or initiatives identified by HRC as being supportive of LGBT equality. Based on city scores on the Municipal Equality Index, these are the worst cities for LGBT rights.