St. Petersburg, Tampa earn perfect scores for LGBTQ inclusion

The Human Rights Campaign has released its annual Municipal Equality Index.

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Earlier this week, St. Petersburg and Tampa received perfect scores from the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index. The annual index, now in its seventh year, is a nationwide rating system that measures how inclusive U.S. cities are of LGBTQ people in municipal laws, policies and services.

Both Tampa and St. Pete were among the record-setting 78 cities that earned rankings of 100 from the LGBTQ civil rights organization, and 2018 marks the fourth 100 for St. Pete in a row.

Elsewhere in Florida, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Wilton Manors and Miami Beach also scored perfectly. The Sunshine State's lowest rating, a disappointing 30, went to Daytona Beach.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn has released a statement about Tampa's high marks.

"In Tampa we celebrate our diversity as a strength and value the inherent contributions of everyone regardless of how you came here, the God you worship or who you love and HRC's score card is proof that we practice what we preach," Buckhorn said. "Tampa is stronger and more competitive when we all pull together and I am proud that our commitment to human rights for all our citizens is being recognized."

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