Myrtle Beach ranked as South Carolina’s most inclusive city

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 8:29 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach is now officially the most equitable city in South Carolina according to the 2023 Municipal Equality Index.

Myrtle Beach scored a 99 which is the highest equity score in South Carolina.

It’s 40 points higher than last year’s score.

The study grades individual cities on a scale of zero to 100 based on how their laws, policies, and services impact their local LGBTQ+ communities.

Some local activists said this reflects their hard work over the span of the last 12 months.

Founder of Grand Strand Pride Terry Livingston said within the past year, he’s worked with the Human Rights Commission to bring inclusivity across all parts of the community including workforce, housing, and entertainment.

“Some of the areas we got credit for was our non-discrimination laws,” Livingston said. " Whether it’s public accommodation, employment, things of that nature. So, I think we’re getting good accurate scores, with what we do have in place here.”

Coastal Carolina University Cultural Studies professor and award-winning author, Maria Estelle Picouto said, these efforts are crucial to any community.

“I believe when a community understands, that being different, not necessarily, is a bad thing, Picouto said. “That it’s simply just different, we can be better community members, better citizens, and come together for the benefit of everyone.”

To learn more about the MEI report, you can visit the Human Rights Campaign website.