Atlanta more friendly to LGBT community

Atlanta has become more friendly toward its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, moving the city higher on an annual list of Gayest Cities in America.

Advocate.com, a national news and information service covering the gay community, ranks Atlanta as the fifth most LGBT-friendly city in the country for 2014, a jump from two consecutive years in ninth place. Only No. 1 Washington, D.C., No. 2 Pasadena, Calif.; No. 3 Seattle and No. 4 Cambridge, Mass., are friendlier.

Groups like the Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau say the recognition is important in attracting new businesses and visitors to the city even if the criteria are “ever rotating,” as Advocate acknowledges.

Suzanne Baugh, president of the chamber, said members want to do business in communities that embrace LGBT-owned companies and individuals.

“The fact that we have a lot of corporations here that are also advocates of the LGBT community and have specific initiatives for their LGBT employees and try to do businesses with LGBT businesses when that makes sense also helps bring folks to Atlanta and entrepreneurs trying to start up here,” Baugh told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Advocate said Atlanta has long been “the epicenter of the gay South.” The site assigned points for specific attributes, such as one-tenth to 1 point for LGBT representation among city and state elected officials, a fraction of a point to 1 point for households with lesbian couples, a point for an all women’s college - Spelman. The criteria, howver, varies from year to year.

See more of this story in Friday’s Atlanta Journal-Constution and on MYAJC.com for subscribers.

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