Denver Beats LA and New York For Being Gay-Friendly

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Denver is one of the friendliest cities in which to be gay, even more so than New York City and Los Angeles, according to a new survey released by a finance website called NerdWallet.

The survey was released to coincide with June’s designation as LGBT Pride Month and measured such things as the number of same-sex households and the number of crimes against gay people per 100,000 residents.

Seattle, San Francisco and Atlanta took the top three spots; Denver came in at No. 12.

The ranking comes just days after the state’s Civil Rights Commission ordered an Aurora baker to continue making wedding cakes for same-sex couples, even though he’s opposed to homosexuality on religious grounds.

Last Friday, the commission upheld an earlier administrative ruling that Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to sell them a cake.

“Any person doing business in Colorado has to recognize that they have to do business in an ethical and law abiding way and the law says you cannot discriminate,” vice chairman Raju Jairam said.  (RELATED: Bakery Will Be Forced To Sell Cakes To Same-Sex Couples)

Denver’s ranking as being gay-friendly comes despite a constitutional amendment that prohibits gay marriage. Last year, the state legislature passed a law allowing civil unions for same-sex couples, which are largely identical to marriages between men and women.

Colorado’s ban on same-sex marriages could change soon. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, located in Denver, is weighing cases in which similar bans on gay marriage were struck down in Utah and Oklahoma. Its decision could affect Colorado’s gay-marriage ban, although the federal appeals court could stay its decision until the U.S. Supreme Court weighs in.

Since the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act last summer, a string of 13 cases challenging state-level bans on same sex marriages have been successful, according to the Wichita Eagle in Kansas.

Even conservative Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, a long-time opponent of same-sex marriage, said last week that it’s inevitable that gay couples will be allowed to legally marry anywhere in the United States.

“Let’s face it: anybody who does not believe that gay marriage is going to be the law of the land just hasn’t been observing what’s going on,” Hatch said on a Utah radio show last Wednesday.

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