Safety from hate crime gave Seattle edge* over SF in ‘gay friendly’ ranks

As 2014 Pride gets underway around Capitol Hill, mainstream media has been reporting on a list of the nation’s “Most LGBT-Friendly Cities.”

The data-driven approach based on three key metrics gives Seattle the nod over San Francisco. But not everybody has noticed why the numbers shake out the way they do.

While Seattle and SF are virtually the same city when it comes to the percentage of households with same-sex partners and “LGBT-friendly laws and opportunities,” Seattle’s per capita rate of reported “sexual orientation-related hate crimes” is much, much lower than San Francisco’s.

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Recent anti-gay violence could be a sign of change, however. The Seattle Times adds an asterisk to the rankings, reporting the much-cited study used old data for its list. Using updated numbers from the FBI, the Times says, shows the per 100,000 citizen rate jumped to 3.0 for Seattle in 2012. Unofficially, the Times says the city posted a similar number in 2013. Meanwhile, police haven’t ruled out a possible hate crime motive in last week’s murder of two men in the Central District.

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