Study: Cities in Iowa above national average for LGBTQ equality

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WASHINGTON (KCRG) - A study has found cities in Iowa are above the nation's average for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) equality.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation has released information from a 2017 study they performed with the Municipal Equality Index (MEI) for 506 cities across the nation.

Of the 506 cities studied, the nine cities in Iowa averaged at 86 out of 100 points, which is above the national average of 58.

“Forward-looking leaders across the U.S. are stepping up, protecting their youth from so-called ‘conversion therapy,’ increasing anti-bullying protections, ensuring transgender city employees have access to inclusive health care benefits and protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in all areas of life," HRC President Chad Griffin said.

In America, people who identify as LGBTQ have a variety of protections and benefits depending on their location.

The HRC says 21 states have non-discrimination laws that include protections for LGBTQ people in employment. Only 20 states have laws to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in places of public accommodation.

A list of Iowa scorings from the study can be found below.

Ames: 82

Cedar Rapids: 100

Davenport: 80

Des Moines:93

Dubuque: 100

Iowa City: 100

Sioux City: 67

Waterloo: 59

West Des Moines: 93

The results of the study were released just days before National Coming Out Day, October 11.