Star Tribune photo by Richard Tsong-Taatarii

The Human Rights Campaign singled out several Minnesota cities for their efforts to secure the legal and civil rights of gay, lesbian and transgender citizens.

Minneapolis and St. Paul earned perfect scores on the group’s 2015 Municipal Equality Index, which ranked local governments on their policies for everything from housing discrimination to health coverage. The average score for the 408 American cities surveyed was 56 percent. Minnesota’s average score was 76 percent.

The group looked for cities with human rights commissions, LGBT outreach programs in schools and in police departments, and city health insurance policies that cover transgender healthcare. Duluth scored 71, Rochester scored 69, while St. Cloud and Bloomington scored 59 out of 100.

“Across our country, cities and towns both big and small aren’t waiting for state or national leaders to move LGBT equality forward,” Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “They are making a powerful statement that no one should have to wait for full equality - the time is now.”

To read the full report, visit