Top 10 most LGBT-friendly countries
Before we start, try guessing which these top 10 countries are and let us know if you got anything right.
10_ France & England.
It’s funny thinking how these two always come together. Both France and England legalized same-sex marriage in 2013, and they have respectively 2 and three anti-discrimination laws. They also allow adoption and have recognized transgender rights. The annual London Pride is huge, and many cities in England have gay villages, in particular, Brighton. France, however, was the very first country in the world to decriminalize homosexuality in 1791!
On the 9th spot comes, maybe with surprise, this Latin American country which was, in fact, back in 2010, the 1st Latin American country to legalize gay marriage — after Canada was the 2nd country in the US. The government actively supports and funds gay events such as the GNetwork360, a conference dedicated to the LGBT+ community. When, in 2012, they introduced gender identity laws, Argentina became the world’s most transgender-friendly country.
Belgium’s history is full of them being within the 1st countries in doing legislation on LGBT+ related-topics. In 2003 they became the 2nd country to legalize gay marriage as well as one of the first to pass transgender and anti-discrimination laws. Belgium was also the 2nd country, after France, to decriminalize homosexuality in 1795.
This tiny Mediterranean island has become, according to the United Nations of Equality and Non-Discrimination, the standard in regards to LGBT+ reforms. Although Malta is a very strict Catholic country — didn’t legalize divorce until 2011 and still bans abortion — they are far ahead on the LGBT+ topic. How did they do that? In the first place, they banned conversion therapy, the first country in Europe to do so. In 2017 Malta legalized gay marriage along with adoption rights. Also, on top of that, they lowered the age at which people can independently request the gender change in official documents, from 18 y/o to 16.
Although Germany was very late in legalizing gay marriage — it only happened in 2017 — the country is recognized worldwide as one of the most friendly towards the LGBT+ community. Schöneberg, in Berlin, was the first-ever gay village in the world back in 1920! Moreover, a study by the Dalia Research found out that Germany has the highest percentage in Europe of people who identify themselves as LGBT+.
Despite their cold weather, the LGBT+ topics have been a very hot topic and a priority for the Iceland government in the past decade. Gay marriage was legalized in June 2010 with a unanimous vote by the national parliament. No one opposed. Back in February 2009, they elected the world’s very first openly gay national leader. Iceland also has LGBT+ events happening throughout the year: the Rainbow Reykjavik, which happens during winter, is a must-see.
The Netherlands was the first country to legalize gay marriage in 2001, and it was also one of the first countries to decriminalize homosexuality in 1811. In 1994 the Nether-lands banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and, as of today, they have some of the world’s most lenient adoption and transgender laws making the Nether-lands one of the most culturally liberal places in the world.
Having one of the most progressive LGBT+ laws: gay marriage since 2009 and adoption codes since 2003, make Sweden stand in the top 3 spots of most gay-friendly countries in the world. As ‘Nomadic Boys’ reported: with over 30 different Pride celebrations taking place across the country throughout the year there are more Pride festival pro-capita in Sweden than anywhere else in the world. Since when homosexuality was decriminalized in 1944, they adopted a unique gay-slogan: ‘gay since 1944’ and we’re living for it!
2_ Spain & Portugal.
Even with different legislation on the topic and a different background, we have yet another pair of countries whom we like to put together, just like they are together geographically speaking. One of the world’s largest gay pride in the world takes places in Madrid, Barcelona itself is a trendy LGBT+ hotspot just like Gran Canaria and Ibiza which is full of some of the best gay clubs in Europe, these places speak volume on behalf of Spain as a whole. Spain was the third country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2005 and came here five years before Portugal decided to do the same. Although they had a long period of oppression between 1933 and 1974, since then Portugal has evolved massively. They decriminalized homosexuality in 1982. In 2011, one year after they legalized gay marriage, they also passed the Law of Gender Identity, making it easier for people from 16 to change their gender and name without the need for medical reports. Lastly, in 2016, adoption for gay couples became legal, making Portugal one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world, proving, yet again, that changes don’t necessarily need much time to happen, they need people who are willing to make them happen.
It comes with no surprise at all that Canada in the top spot on this list. The ranking site Spartacus placed Canada as the 1st LGBT+ friendly country in the world for two years in a row. In 2005 they became the 4th country to legalize gay marriage and is the only country that hosts its national pride event called ‘Canada Pride’. Toronto Pride is also one of the largest in the world attracting almost 1.5 million people! So if you will ever go to the Montreal Pride, you may happen to see one of the few — if not the only — straight with man leader of the country waving transgender flags – yes, we are talking about Justin Trudeau who changed the game. If this isn’t enough, Canada also started celebrating the LGBT+ community even on its currency by releasing a new Canadian $1 which commemorates the LGBT+ rights battles.