Arlington garnered a 100-percent rate in the 10th annual Municipal Equality Index, reported by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
The average score for 11 major localities in Virginia was 88 on a zero-to-100 scale, compared to a national average of 67. Arlington was among 110 communities earning a perfect rating, up from 11 in 2021 when the survey debuted.
The index rated 506 localities nationally, including the 50 state capitals, the 200 largest cities in the U.S., the five largest cities or municipalities in each state, the cities home to the state’s two largest public universities, the 75 municipalities that have high proportions of same-sex couples and 98 cities selected by Human Rights Foundation and Equality Federation state group members and supporters.
The survey assesses each localities on 49 criteria covering citywide non-discrimination protections, policies for municipal employees, city services, law enforcement and the city’s leadership on LGBTQ+ equality issues.
Among Virginia’s 11 areas evaluated, Alexandria, Fairfax County, Richmond and Virginia Beach earned 100-percent ratings. Other scores included 79 in Charlottesville, 80 in Chesapeake, 81 in Hampton, 70 in Newport News, 91 in Norfolk and 65 in Roanoke.
The full report, including detailed scorecards for every ranked community, as well as a searchable database, is available online at www.hrc.org/mei.