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Thursday, May 30, 2013

St. Louis One of Most Gay-Friendly Cities In The Country, Another Report Finds

Posted By on Thu, May 30, 2013 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge PrideFest in Tower Grove last year. - ALEXIS HITT / RFT SLIDESHOW

Here in St. Louis, we get a little touchy when it comes to national rankings. In the area of crime, some say these so-called "experts" have no idea what they're talking about! Their numbers make no sense and their methodology is super shady, right?

But when it comes to being a gay city, well, we'll take what we can get! This week, St. Louis has, once again, been named a very gay-friendly city -- one of the best in the nation. Hooray!

Based on a "municipal equality" index, LGBT-related hate-crime data and stats on same-sex households, St. Louis beat out nearly 80 cities across the country to be ranked near the top in this latest list.

See also: - St. Louis Boy Scouts Board Member Resigns, Says Ban On Gays Is Discriminatory - Why Does Rep. Sue Allen Oppose Specific Protections for Gay Students? - Missouri Hospital Under Attack For Barring Gay Partner Visitation Rights

The nod to St. Louis this time around comes from NerdWallet, a finance website.

The site crunched numbers and ranked the top twenty LGBT-friendly cities in the U.S. St. Louis earned the No. 11 spot; NerdWallet says it looked at a total of 88 cities.

Last year, St. Louis got a fair amount of attention when the Human Rights Campaign, based on its equality index rating of public policies and rights in 137 U.S. cities, gave us a perfect score. In that ranking, we were right alongside other perfect gay cities like New York, Seattle and San Francisco.

In January, the Advocate, with some fairly questionable methodology, ranked St. Louis at No. 15.

And St. Louis mayor Francis Slay referenced the city's gay-friendliness when he was campaigning in the recent election and has said that LGBT issues will continue to be a priority in his fourth term. He's received attention in the past for his pro-gay rights stance in Missouri policy debates.

NerdWallet appears to be relying on some of the HRC methodology and a few other data points in its report. Our overall gay-friendly score in this study was 67, not too far below Palm Springs, California's score of 72, which earned the west-coast city the No. 1 spot. With an apparently low rate of gay hate-crime and high -- relatively speaking -- rate of same-sex households, St. Louis just missed the top ten, coming in at No. 11.

We beat out Chicago, Berkeley, Austin, Denver and many other cities that didn't even make the top twenty list.

Don't you just love national rankings?

Here's the list via NerdWallet:

click to enlarge gay_friendly_rank_nerdwallet.jpg
click to enlarge nerdwallet_2.jpg

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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