A tidal wave of LGBT support is being witnessed across the nation and Austin is at the forefront. According to a new study from NerdWallet, Austin is the third most LGBT-friendly city in the United States, up four spots from last year.
The study considered a variety of factors, including the percentage of the population that identifies as LGBT and the number of LGBT-related hate crimes. NerdWallet also looked at the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index, as well the number of hospitals that the HRC deems "leaders in LGBT healthcare equality."
In Austin, 5.3 percent of the population identifies as LGBT. Additionally, there are only 0.2 LGBT-related hate crimes per 10,000 residents (less than San Francisco and Portland, Oregon). Austin scored a perfect 100 on the HRC's 2014 Municipal Equality Index. However, Austin has no HRC-recognized hospitals.
Overall, Austin earns a score of 77.8, falling just behind Portland's score of 77.9. San Francisco claims the No. 1 spot on the list, with a score of 79.6.
"Despite its location in a state that bans same-sex marriage, Austin made our list of standouts," says NerdWallet. "The city has LGBT groups for most everyone, from teens to members of the police department.
"Each year, the city is host to the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival along with a week of events for Austin Pride. Since Austin is such an active city, it's no surprise there are many LGBT sports and recreation leagues. The Austin Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce showcases Central Texas' LGBT businesses and organizations."
You can see how other cities fared on the NerdWallet report here.