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Three Arizona cities ranked high in LGBTQ equality

(Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP File)

PHOENIX — Three cities in the Valley are leading the way on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights, according to a report from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

Phoenix, Tempe and Tucson earned a perfect score of 100 points on the 2018 Municipal Equality Index which measures how inclusive municipal laws, policies, and services are of LGBTQ people who live and work there.

The MEI rates 506 cities on 49 different criteria from every state in the nation, according to HRC’s website. This year marks the seventh edition of the study. Scores are based on factors including: non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and the city leadership’s public position on equality.

“This year’s MEI again proves that there are no barriers to municipal LGBTQ equality for a city with dedicated, pro-equality elected officials,” HRC president Chad Griffin said.

“As we approach one of the most critical elections of our lifetimes, it is incumbent on all of us to make sure that we help elect more leaders across the nation who share this uncompromising commitment to equality for all.”

The national average MEI score is 58 and Arizona’s cities came in at an average of 67.

“The MEI is a valuable tool for Arizonans to use to help our local governments develop LGBTQ inclusive public policy,” said a spokesperson from Equality Arizona. “Equality Arizona is proud to support this annual effort and is dedicated to working throughout Arizona for the full social, economic, and civic inclusion of LGBTQ people.”

Equality Arizona is an advocacy organization for the LGBTQ community of Arizona.

The HRC’s website has more on other cities in the nation and their MEI scores.

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