Thirty-eight cities scored 100 on the Human Rights Campaign's third annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI), which measures a city's support for LGBT rights.

“From Mississippi to Montana, mid-size cities and small towns have become the single greatest engine of progress for LGBT equality – changing countless lives for the better,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement.

Cities scoring perfect marks have increased steadily, starting with only 11 in 2012 and increasing to 25 in 2013.

“In just three years, the number of municipalities earning top marks from the MEI for their treatment of LGBT people has more than tripled,” Griffin said. “Simply put, in this country there is an ongoing race to the top to treat all people, including LGBT people, fairly under the law. It's time our state and federal laws caught up.”

For the first time, the MEI took into account whether a city offers transgender-inclusive health benefits.

One city highlighted for its dramatic turnaround is Cincinnati, Ohio, which scored 100, a 10 point increase over last year's score.

In 1993, voters in the city approved a controversial measure which prohibited the government from recognizing gays. Article XII said: “No special class status may be granted based upon sexual orientation, conduct or relationships.”

Voters had a change of heart eleven years later, repealing the ban. The victory, however, was only partial, as Cincinnati voters joined in with the rest of Ohio to approve one of the nation's harshest constitutional amendments prohibiting the state from recognizing gay and lesbian couples with either marriage or civil unions. A recent ruling upholding Ohio's ban is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Today, Cincinnati recognizes gay couples with domestic partnerships, offers benefits to the partners of gay city workers, has an inclusive nondiscrimination policy and recently added sexual orientation and gender identity to its hate crimes law.

Other cities with a perfect score include Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, San Diego, San Francisco, West Hollywood, New Haven, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Wilton Manors, Atlanta, Chicago, Iowa City, Baltimore, Boston, Cambridge, Worcester, East Lansing, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Kansas City, St. Louis, Missoula, Jersey City, New York City, Rochester, Columbus, Portland, Philadelphia, Providence, Austin, Olympia, Seattle and Madison.

Three cities in Texas – Irving, Lubbock, McAllen and Mesquite – and one in Mississippi – Southaven – scored zero.

(Read the full report.)