If you’re considering a move in the near future, one thing that may factor into your decision is how LGBT friendly your new home is. This is especially true if you’re currently living in a state in which gay marriage is not legal and may want to marry your partner in the near future. Every year, a number of websites and publications put together lists of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the U.S. Here are five of the cities that ranked highly in 2014.
#1: Long Beach, California – There are many different gay bars and other businesses in Long Beach, plus, of course, there are the beaches and the open, accepting atmosphere. The city also hosts one of the largest Pride Parades in the U.S.
#2: Rochester, New York – Not a city many would think of when it comes to a great place to live, but Rochester has all of the ingredients to make it a great home for an LGBT family. The city is located in the Finger Lakes area of New York, which is absolutely gorgeous. The Park Avenue area contains a great number of gay businesses, plus the city hosts regular LGBT events (including a popular Pride Festival).
#3: Salt Lake City, Utah – Another surprising entry on the list: the home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (better known as the Mormon church) is a LGBT-friendly city? Some people don’t believe it, but the city does have a good number of gay bars/clubs and several LGBT neighborhoods. Their Pride festival has even included some members of the Mormon Church who believe the church needs to change its stance on gay and lesbian rights. Another factor to keep in mind is that Salt Lake City, unlike many other parts of the state, is made up of a wide variety of people. The Mormons aren’t the majority.
#4: St. Louis, Missouri – You’ll find a number of gay and lesbian realtors in St. Louis who recommend moving to the city because of its progressive attitudes. As of August 2014, there are three openly gay public officials, plus the city plays host to a number of gay rodeo associations and concerts. St. Louis is a haven for LGBT citizens who are looking for a home in the Midwest.
#5: Washington, D.C. – While the city is located in the south, a traditionally conservative area, the nation’s capital is very openly LGBT-friendly. There are more than a dozen openly gay city officials, not to mention some very charming and friendly gay neighborhoods like Dupont Circle and Logan Circle. D.C. has a number of popular gay-owned bars, clubs, and businesses.