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Looking Out: Baltimore ranked among top five LGBT-friendly cities

Baltimore is among the most LGBT-friendly cities in the country, according to a new analysis by NerdWallet.
Baltimore is among the most LGBT-friendly cities in the country, according to a new analysis by NerdWallet. (Photo by Kim Hairston)

Baltimore is the fifth most friendly city in the United States for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, according to a new analysis by San Francisco-based financial advice website NerdWallet.

The analysis found Baltimore "took the top spot in health care equality," with multiple hospitals meeting the Human Rights Campaign's standards for LGBT care. It also identified Mount Vernon and Hampden as the city's "most LGBT-friendly neighborhoods," citing Baltimore Pride and HonFest.

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"Hampden is a favorite of filmmaker and gay icon John Waters," the analysis said.

NerdWallet has studied LGBT residents in U.S. cities for three years. This year, its analysis was based on several factors, including the percentage of cities' populations that identify as LGBT, the number of hate crimes, and cities' rankings in the Human Rights Campaign's assessment of health care providers and hospitals and its Municipal Equality Index -- in which Baltimore has scored well.

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In the NerdWallet assessment, the top four cities are San Francisco; Portland, Ore.; Austin, Texas; and Providence, R.I.

The analysis found 3.9 percent of people in the Baltimore metropolitan region identify as LGBT, and that the region had zero hate crimes against LGBT people in 2013.

(According to FBI data, there were 7 hate crimes based on sexual orientation -- and zero based on gender identity -- in Maryland in 2013: 2 in Montgomery County and one each in Howard, Charles and Prince George's counties, Greenbelt and at St. Mary's College.)

Interestingly, Baltimore's neighbor to the south, Washington D.C., didn't even place in the top 20 cities in the analysis, despite having attracted more than a little attention as the "gayest place in America" in recent years.

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Obviously, different studies are based on different criteria -- which makes rankings on these sorts of lists vary often.

What do you think of Baltimore's standing?

Elsewhere in LGBT-related news:

- We're not sure how Baltimore would fare in a most-friendly list if the criteria included the number of gay bars in town. ICYMI, The Hippo is now closing, too.

- Voters in Ireland approved gay marriage in the country.

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