Special Report

Most LGBTQ-Friendly Cities in America Right Now

The LGBTQ community faced hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills this year, in policy areas ranging from sports equality to LGBTQ health care access. The Center for American Progress found that over one in three LGBTQ Americans experienced some form of discrimination in various aspects of their lives during 2020. 

These challenges underscore the need for more LGBTQ protections and representation in Congress. A record number of LGBTQ candidates are on the ballot this year, hoping to provide their constituents access to better LGBTQ health care, safety, and support. (A record number of LGBTQ candidates are running in the midterms.)

While cities like New York and San Francisco have historically served as safe havens for the LGTBQ community, other cities have failed to protect the community, some excluding LGTBQ Americans from their anti-discrimination laws. (These are the states with little or no protections to LGBTQ people.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed 2022’s Most LGBTQ-Friendly Cities, a ranking created by LawnStarter, a lawn-care startup that conducts research into city and state amenities. LawnStarter used six categories, with differently weighted metrics, to factor into an overall friendliness score. The six categories are equality, community support, affordability, safety, health care access, and pride readiness (such as LGBTQ establishments and events). We listed the 30 most LGBT-friendly cities.

Hailed as the “Gay Capital of America” in 1964, and home to America’s first pride march, San Francisco still holds the crown as America’s No. 1 most LGBTQ-friendly city. Despite San Francisco’s high ranking in equality, health care access, pride readiness, and community support, the city is one of the most unaffordable on the list. 

While San Francisco’s high ranking may not come as a surprise, other LGBTQ-friendly cities are less expected. Salt Lake City ranks at No. 26, with a particularly high ranking in community support, and St. Louis sits at No. 18, ranking in the top three for health care access. 

States with LGBTQ-friendly cities tend to vote blue. Twenty-four of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities are in states that voted Democrat in the last presidential election, while six cities are in states that voted Republican. 

Coastal states are home to many of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities. Eleven are located in states on the East Coast, while 10 are located in West Coast states. California is home to seven cities, more than any other state, and Florida is home to three. Very few cities are located in the Bible Belt. Only No. 6, Atlanta, and No. 28, New Orleans are in the region. However, states like Texas, Arkansas, and Alabama never appear on the list.

Click here to see the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in America right now.

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