ST PAUL — In a national report measuring cities and municipalities' equity in laws for LGBTQ+ residents, eight Minnesota cities have collectively earned a score above the national average.

According to the Human Rights Campaign's 2019 Municipal Equality Index released on Tuesday, Nov. 19, eight Minnesota cities measured in the study — Bloomington, Duluth, Eden Prairie, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Rochester, St. Cloud and St. Paul — earned an average state rating of 67 out of 100. The national average out of a total 506 U.S. cities measured is 60.

Individually, four of the eight Minnesota cities scored below the national average, and four above. Minneapolis and St. Paul scored the highest in the state at 100, followed by Duluth at 86 and Rochester at 64. Eden Prairie, Bloomington, St. Cloud and Minnetonka each scored below 50.

  1. Minneapolis: 100
  2. St. Paul: 100
  3. Duluth: 86
  4. Rochester: 64
  5. Eden Prairie: 49
  6. Bloomington: 48
  7. St. Cloud: 48
  8. Minnetonka: 43

In a Tuesday news release, HRC President Alphonso David said local governments that have passed laws protecting LGBTQ+ residents are "sending a clear message that the fair and equal treatment of our community, our families and our neighbors is a true American value."

Tuesday's report comes as the Minneapolis City Council considers a citywide ban on conversion therapy. The bill unanimously passed a council committee on Monday and will go before the full council on Friday. Minneapolis would be the first Minnesota city to pass such a ban after the Minnesota state Senate shot down a statewide ban in the 2019 legislative session.

2019 marked the third year in a row that the national average score increased. To produce the report, HRC and partner organization Equality Federation Institute measured a total of 506 U.S. cities, including the 200 largest U.S. cities, five largest cities or municipalities in each state, all 50 state capitals and more.

The report assessed each state on 49 criteria, including citywide nondiscrimination protections, city services, law enforcement, policies for municipal employees and city leadership.