Hampton Roads Scores Below Average in HRC’s Annual LGBTQ-Friendly Cities Study

Norfolk and Virginia Beach score slightly below average. Other Hampton Roads cities score dismally.

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Every year, the Human Right’s Campaign releases a new list of the cities considered the most friendly to LGBTQ people using parameters elaborated in the Municipal Equality Index. The idea behind the assessment is to show which states do the most to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination and violence. For the first time, 60 cities were shown to a have a perfect score in this regard.

Out of a best possible score of 100, Norfolk ranks 49 while Virginia Beach ranks 47. Chesapeake scores 20, while Hampton scores 19 and Newport News 18. These lackluster results are primarily due to the lack of statewide and municipal non-discrimination laws in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The lack of a City Human Rights Commission, an LGBTQ Liasion in the Mayor’s Office, and anti-bullying school policies lowered scores as well.

Not surprisingly, places like New York and San Francisco retained their reputations as the most socially accepting cities in the country, but other cities like Phoenix, Arizona and Orlando, Florida score unexpectedly high as well.

You can check out the full scoreboard by city over here.