Last October, Mayor Steven Fulop hosted a wedding ceremony for eight same-sex couples at midnight, just one second after they were legally allowed to marry. This and many other reasons were considered when the financial blog NerdWallett named Jersey City one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the nation for same-sex couples.
Jersey City boasts a low number of LGBT hate crimes and a perfect equality score. Mayor Fulop was an early supporter of gay marriage. New Jersey has been recognizing same-sex marriage since October 2013. The Hudson Pride Connections Center is a local, non-profit organization that advocates for the well-being of the region’s LGBT residents.
When NerdWallet crunched the numbers to find the most LGBT-friendly cities in the U.S., they considered the following factors in their analysis:
1. Presence of gay community:
They included the official census percentage of households with same-sex partners in each city.
2. LGBT-friendly laws and opportunities:
They incorporated the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) 2013 Municipal Equality Index, which measures the equality of each city’s non-discrimination laws, relationship recognition, employment practices, city services, law enforcement, and municipality leadership.
3. LGBT safety and tolerance:
To proxy for safety and tolerance for the LGBT population, they included the number of sexual orientation-related hate crimes per 100,000 residents in each city.
“We are excited to have such a diverse community in Jersey City that is recognized nationally,” Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said when he heard the news at the beginning of June. “It is a great honor to see Jersey City ranked alongside such large cities as San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago.” Jersey City made the list, just behind Austin, TX, and ahead of St. Paul, MN.
“We are moving out of the shadow of New York City,” said Executive Director of Hudson Pride Connections, Jeffrey Campbell. “It’s great to see our efforts are paying off.” Hudson Pride will sponsor the Jersey City LGBT Pride Festival in October along Grove St. in the Jersey City business district.
Seattle was rated number one, followed by San Francisco, Atlanta, Oakland, CA, Long Beach, CA, Minneapolis, and Austin.
Surprisingly, New York City and Philadelphia did not make the Top 10 this year, but they did make the Top 20.
For more information on affordability in each of the top cities, check out http://www.nerdwallet.com/cost-of-living-calculator.
The remainder of the Top 20 are:
11. Portland, OR.
12. Denver, CO.
13. Baltimore, MD.
14. Philadelphia, PA.
15. New York, NY.
16. San Diego, CA.
17. Dallas, TX.
18. Los Angeles, CA
19. Phoenix, AZ.
20. Sacramento, CA.
For the full report and how the rankings were calculated