The Human Rights Campaign has highlighted eight Colorado municipalities in its “Municipal Equality Index,” a nationwide ranking of how cities’ policies, services, laws, and benefits promote LGBT equality.
Denver received the top score of 100, on par with gay-friendly meccas like West Hollywood and San Francisco.
Boulder and Fort Collins scored in the high nineties. Aspen, Aurora, Colorado Springs, Lakewood, and Littleton all received above 50 points.
The report noted that a record number of localities earned a perfect score compared to years past.
“These local leaders also understand that to advance LGBTQ rights, they have to make sure that their own employment practices and policies are progressive and equitable,” wrote HRC Foundation President Alphonso Davis. “A record-breaking 164 out of the 506 cities we scored now offer transgender-inclusive health benefits to city employees.”
The rankings were calculated from scores in five categories, which included the relationship between police departments and the LGBT community; whether local governments sought to be civically inclusive; the extent of LGBT-specific services; nondiscrimination policies for city employees; and nondiscrimination laws more broadly in areas of housing or provision of services. The latter category also took into account prohibitions on conversion therapy.
All of Colorado’s listed municipalities scored perfectly in their broad prohibitions against discrimination.
HRC cautioned that the index was not a "quality of life" guide for LGBT individuals. Cities that ranked highly because of their policies may not necessarily feel welcoming, and the opposite might be true for cities with few policies in place.
The report comes one day after Attorney General Phil Weiser and representatives from Colorado faith and anti-hate organizations announced a push to increase reporting of hate crimes.
Twenty-one percent of the state's hate crimes in 2018 arose from sexual orientation or gender identity.