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Baltimore Earns Top Marks For LGBT Issues

Maureen Harvie/WYPR

Baltimore is a good place for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people, according to a new study from the Human Rights Campaign.

The nation's largest LGBT advocacy group’s Municipal Equality Index looked at more than 335 cities across the US. The cities were graded on 47 criteria including non-discrimination laws, recognition of same-sex relationships, law enforcement, and the inclusiveness of city hiring and services.

Six Maryland cities were graded and all were ranked above the national average – Annapolis, Baltimore, College Park, Frederick, Gaithersburg and Rockville. Baltimore rated highest, with a perfect score. Charm City was one of 38 cities nationwide that made the high score.

"We're proud of the progress Maryland localities have made in advancing LGBT equality and contributing to the momentum to pass state-wide policies,” said Keith Thirion of Equality Maryland in a statement. “Local action on issues such as transgender healthcare and services to help the most vulnerable LGBT Marylanders like our communities of color and youth remain critical in ensuring that everyone is free to live their full lives without fear of discrimination."

Maryland legalized same-sex marriage in 2012, and prohibits discrimination in housing, credit and public accommodation based on sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Christopher Connelly is a political reporter for WYPR, covering the day-to-day movement and machinations in Annapolis. He comes to WYPR from NPR, where he was a Joan B. Kroc Fellow, produced for weekend All Things Considered and worked as a rundown editor for All Things Considered. Chris has a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley. He’s reported for KALW (San Francisco), KUSP (Santa Cruz, Calif.) and KJZZ (Phoenix), and worked at StoryCorps in Brooklyn, N.Y. He’s filed stories on a range of topics, from a shortage of dog blood in canine blood banks to heroin addicts in Tanzania. He got his start in public radio at WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, when he was a student at Antioch College.