Top LGBTQ-friendly cities in Michigan: Detroit, Ann Arbor, E. Lansing, Ferndale

MICHIGAN - Ann Arbor, Detroit, East Lansing and Ferndale are the most LGBTQ friendly communities in Michigan, according to a new report from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation released Thursday.

The civil rights organization, based in Washington, D.C., surveyed cities across the country -- including 11 in Michigan -- for LGBTQ inclusive policies. The survey looked at things like local non-discrimination laws, providing transgender-inclusive health benefits for city employees and offering LGBTQ-inclusive city services.

On a 100-point scale, all four cities scored a perfect 100 on the group's 2017 Municipal Equality Index, despite hailing from a state without LGBTQ-inclusive statewide non-discrimination laws.

The average score for cities in Michigan is 71 out of 100 points, which falls above the national average of 57.

Of the 11 Michigan cities in the survey, Warren scored the lowest.

The index  rated 506 cities nationwide, including the 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities in the United States, the five largest cities or municipalities in each state, the cities home to the state’s two largest public universities, municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples and 98 cities selected by HRC and Equality Federation state group members and supporters. It assesses each city on 44 criteria covering citywide nondiscrimination protections, policies for municipal employees, city services, law enforcement, and city leadership’s relationship with the LGBTQ community.

Starting in 2018, the MEI will introduce new criteria including protecting youth from “conversion therapy” and will deduct points for religious exemptions that allow discrimination by singling out LGBTQ people.

The Michigan rankings

Ann Arbor: 100
Detroit: 100
East Lansing: 100
Ferndale: 94
Grand Rapids: 76
Kalamazoo: 65
Lansing: 65
Pleasant Ridge: 56
Sterling Heights: 28
Traverse City:86
Warren: 16

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© 2017 Detroit Free Press


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