'Gayest cities in America' list reveals surprising results, causes debate

'Gayest cities in America' reveals surprising results, causes debateSalt Lake City: PA

A leading gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) focused magazine, The Advocate, has released its third annual Gayest Cities in America list - and the results have left some critics bemused.

Considering it passed the same-sex marriage legislation last year, you might think New York would feature high on the list.

But it doesn't make it into the top 15. Instead, in a move that surprised many, Salt Lake City in Utah was named number one.

But, according to USA Today, an introduction to the article explains that it deliberately ignored well-known gay destinations (like NY, San Francisco, and West Hollywood) to focus on the "the per capita queerness of some less expected locales".

The article's writer Matthew Breen calls the criteria "totally accurate if decidedly subjective", some of which included: how many GLBT bookstores are in a city, how many nude yoga classes are offered, how many city softball teams compete in the Gay Softball World Series, as well as more obviously serious criteria like the number of gay/lesbian/bi/transgender elected officials and the existence of laws prohibiting discrimination.

So why Salt Lake City? It has Utah's only mutual-commitment registry to recognise the partnerships of same-sex couples, and the magazine said: "While those unfamiliar with the Beehive State are likely to conjure images of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, far-less-oppressive-than-it-used-to-be Salt Lake City has earned its queer cred. There are more than a half-dozen hot spots for men and women ... yes, you can get a drink in this town."

However, not everyone agrees. One critic wrote on the Advocate's website: "How Palm Springs and Miami are not on the list SHOCKS me. Salt Lake -- really?"

The top five Gayest Cities in America were named as:

1. Salt Lake City
2. Orlando
3. Cambridge, Mass.
4. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
5. Seattle

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