America's 2nd gayest city gets low marks for LGBT policies

PASADENA - Two months after being named America's second-gayest city, Pasadena has been given a C- in a report card about the fairness of policies involving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT civil rights organization, this month released the "2013 Municipal Equality Index," a nationwide measure of the positive laws, policies, benefits and services cities have for the LGBT community.

Pasadena scored 74 out of 100, up 18 points from last year, the Pasadena Star-News reported. The California average was 76, with 46 of those points credited to state policies.

Mayor Bill Bogaard, however, said his city is diverse, open and tolerant. "Without suggesting that we're No. 2 or that the score of 74 is correct ... I perceive Pasadena as a city that is open and tolerant and welcoming to all the people that make up our community," Bogaard told the Star-News.

It was the second time the HRC released the Municipal Equality Index, which rates cities based on six categories: nondiscrimination, relationship recognition, municipality as employer, municipal services, law enforcement and relationship with the LGBT community. Released in November, the analysis sampled every state and rated 291 cities, 42 of which were in California, the Star-News reported.

Of the 78 million people who live in the included cities, 42 percent have more comprehensive protections at the local level than they do at the state level, Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, wrote in the report's introduction, according to the Star-News.

Cathryn Oakley, author of the index, said the report has two goals: to give bragging rights to inclusive cities and to provide others with a blueprint for improvement, according to the newspaper. For example, cities could make it a point to hire only contractors who have equal practices for both their heterosexual and LGBT employees.

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