New Orleans ranks among the top cities in the United States for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, as reflected in the city's laws and policies, according to a report issued Thursday (Dec. 17) by the Human Rights Campaign. The country's largest LGBT civil rights organization awarded New Orleans an "all star" designation for excelling in LGBT equality without relying on state law.
The report employed a "municipal equality index" to score 408 municipalities of varying sizes in all 50 states. The ratings were based on 41 criteria that fell under five broad categories, including non-discrimination laws, employee benefits and protections, inclusiveness of city services and fair enforcement of the law.
New Orleans received a score of 91 out of 100, placing far higher than the other five Louisiana localities examined in the report. The average score for cities in Louisiana was 38, below the national average of 56.
In several categories New Orleans was granted bonus scores for being a welcoming place to work, providing services to LGBT youth and having openly LGBT elected or appointed municipal leaders.