A new report looks at how inclusive cities are of the LGBTQ community

The campaign looked at eight cities in Minnesota, and awards points for meeting certain criteria.
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A new ranking looks at U.S. cities and how inclusive their policies are toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community – with two of Minnesota's city's getting top marks.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation this week put out its annual Municipal Equality Index. Now in its fifth year, the index looked at 506 different cities, covering every U.S. state.

So what is the index exactly?

It looks at municipal laws, policies, and services in a city to determine how inclusive things are there for the LGBTQ community. Things such as non-discrimination laws, the city's hiring practices, municipal services, law enforcement, and the city leadership's public position on equality matters.

It is not, as the FAQ states, a statement on whether LGBTQ people should live there – it's solely looking at a city's policies and services.

"Some high-scoring cities may not feel truly welcoming for all LGBTQ people, and some low-scoring cities may feel more welcoming than their policies might reflect," it says.

Where Minnesota stands

The campaign looked at eight cities in Minnesota, and awards points for meeting certain criteria. For example, a city can get up to 10 points for having an LGBTQ police liaison or task force. Or six points for non-discrimination in city employment, with regards to both sexual orientation and gender identity.

Here's one example: This is page one of St. Cloud's ranking:

So how did Minnesota cities do overall? Minneapolis and St. Paul both scored 100, the highest possible rating. The other cities were all in the upper 50s or mid 60s.

Below, you can see each city with its overall score. Click the linked name to see the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's scorecard. The Column has a brief breakdown of the reasons as well.

Bloomington – 59

Duluth – 66

Eden Prairie – 62

Minneapolis – 100

Minnetonka – 54

Rochester – 62

St. Cloud – 59

St. Paul – 100

You cam see every city's ranking broken down by state here. The group also picked out "All-Star Cities" – those that scored an 85 or more, yet are within a state that does not have "LGBTQ-inclusive statewide non-discrimination laws." Minnesota does not qualify for that.

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