Los Angeles tops list as most LGBT-friendly U.S. city

Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:25pm EDT
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By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Los Angeles tops the list of U.S. cities most friendly to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people, according to a newly compiled "Queer Index" released on Wednesday by an online news site.

New York, San Francisco and Des Moines followed, said Vocativ, a site that uses its technology to mine Internet data.

Los Angeles ranked especially high for couples but also has a "healthy dating pool," it said. New York remains a "mecca for gay and gender-variant youth," while San Francisco "has a queer heart that keeps on ticking."

Calling the No. 4 ranking of Des Moines a "major jaw-dropper," Vocativ said the Iowa city earned points for an inclusive attitude toward adoption and marriage equality.

Vocativ said it compiled data relevant to LGBT life in the nation's 100 most populous metropolitan areas to measure 16 factors such as same-sex marriage laws, hate crimes and hate groups, gay-friendly businesses, accessibility to adoption and hookup opportunities.

"Let's face it: A great many places across America are still not that welcoming of the LGBT community," it wrote. "But there are beacons of hope - as well as cities quietly changing - and hence, the Queer Index was born."

Among other cities on the list were Chattanooga, Tennessee, at No. 21 with a gay city council member and domestic partnership benefits for city employees, and Buffalo, New York, at No. 34 with a popular Pride Parade, no hate crimes and galleries and cinemas that cater to a gay population, it said.

The full list of cities:   Continued...