Buffalo fared poorly among New York cities in a national study that evaluates how equally municipalities treat lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Buffalo received a score of 52 out of 100 on the 2013 Municipal Equality Index released last week by the Human Rights Campaign, a civil rights organization.
It was the lowest score among six cities in the state included in the study, which rated 291 cities overall.
Rochester scored 98, Albany 99 and New York City 100.
The national average score for cities was 57. Half of the nation’s cities scored above 60.
The study does not purport to rank which cities offer the best living conditions for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
“You can’t make the leap from this report to all quality of life,” said Jorien L. Brock, senior director of the Pride Center of Western New York. “But I do think this is very important information.”
Brock said the results show that the city has “some gaps” in policies and other areas that deserve greater attention.
But, she added, the lower-than-average score is not indicative of the solid relationship that the local LGBT community has with City Hall and local law enforcement.
“I feel we have perhaps more support than this reflects,” she said. “We do have a good working relationship with our city, and I’d say they’re very responsive.”
The index measured cities on 47 criteria in six broad categories: nondiscrimination laws, relationship recognition, municipal employment, municipal services, law enforcement and city leadership’s relationship with the LGBT community.
Buffalo scored 18 out of 18 for nondiscrimination laws and 12 out of 12 for recognizing marriage and having a municipal domestic partner registry.
But the survey found that the city did not offer legal dependent benefits, equivalent family leave and equality stipulations in city contracts for LGBT people.
Buffalo also scored zero out of 8 in a measure of the city leadership’s commitment “to fully include” LGBT people and “to advocate for full equality.”
It was the second year of the Municipal Equality Index, which found that cities with a high proportion of same-sex couples and cities with openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender city officials tended to have higher scores.
Twenty-five cities received perfect scores, up from 11 in the 2012 survey.