San Diego, Oceanside score high on LGBT issues

SAN DIEGO — San Diego and Oceanside received high marks in a study of the governments’ attentiveness to LGBT issues, organizers of the survey announced Monday.

San Diego earned a perfect score — 100 — in the Municipal Equality Index released by the Human Right Campaign, while Oceanside scored a 99.

The average of California cities surveyed was 73, and the national average was 55.

Of the other San Diego County cities in the study, Chula Vista scored a 55 and Escondido 60.

“This year, dozens of cities across the nation showed they are willing to stand up for LGBTQ people in their communities even when some state governments are not,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.

“This builds on a trend we have long observed — that local governments are at the forefront of our fight for equality,” Griffin said. “Unfortunately, our opponents have witnessed this progress too, and in recent years, anti-LGBTQ lawmakers have pushed spiteful legislation aimed at pre- empting local protections.”

The survey rates cities on 41 criteria, including passage of non- discrimination laws, employment and contracting policies, transgender benefits, inclusiveness of city services, law enforcement and representation by LGBT leaders.

Eleven cities in California received perfect scores, compared to eight last year. Along with San Diego, they were Cathedral City, Guerneville, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose and West Hollywood.

The number of U.S. cities that scored 100 in this year’s survey was 60, up from 47 last year and 38 the year before. Eight California cities received perfect scores.

For the first time this year, the index deducted points from the scores of cities that have non-discrimination protections that prohibit people from using public facilities consistent with their gender identity.

Also, a new category of points was created to recognize cities that are offering transgender-specific city services.