The latest Spartacus Gay Travel Index has rated 202 countries around the world and given a separate rating of each US state.
In the country index, Canada, Malta and Sweden top the list as first equals. Meanwhile the UK is fifth equal, Australia 18th equal. And the US is quite far down the list at 31st equal, behind Taiwan and South Africa.
By contrast Chechnya, which has targeted LGBT+ people with secret roundups, torturing them in concentration camps and murdering some, is bottom of the list in 202nd place.
Spartacus also provides a separate index of the 50 states of the US and Washington DC. In that list, California comes out top, closely followed by New York and Nevada.
Meanwhile the index ranks Ohio at the bottom of its list in 51st place.
Taiwan and Angola are big risers
The index awards points for anti-discrimination legislation, offering same-sex marriage, allowing couples to adopt, trans rights, an equal age of consent and the country’s standing against ‘conversion therapy’. It also examines whether a nation actively promotes to the LGBT+ market.
Meanwhile anti-LGBT+ laws, religious interference, banning Prides, murders and the death penalty for homosexuality all lose a country points. Likewise, the index punishes countries for HIV travel restrictions and ‘hostile locals’.
The index this year shows some significant moves, partly because of it including policies towards intersex and conversion procedure.
Despite this, Spartacus says there is little change in the top 50 positions.
One exception is Taiwan. It became the first Asian country to open marriage to same-sex couples and has fairly liberal laws overall. It rose from 41st in 2019 to 23rd place this year.
Moreover, in Africa, Angola was able to go from 104th place to 65th. That’s because the National Assembly approved a new penal code in 2019, which legalised consenting same-sex sexual activity.
Meanwhile, in the US, Spartacus praises California for its ‘exuberant queer infrastructure and excellent LGBT laws’.
By contrast, the researchers took points away from Ohio and Tennessee for their policies against registering trans people’s true genders.
The best and worst of the LGBT+ world
Spartacus researched publicly available information including from LGBT+ organizations Rainbow Europe.org, ILGA and Trans Respect to compile the guide. You can see the full index here.
Meanwhile here are the best and worst of the world and the US. As many countries and states are tied in the rankings, we are giving the top 23 and bottom 22 countries and the top 10 and bottom 15 states.
Top 23 countries
1= Canada, Malta, Sweden
5= Argentina, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, Uruguay
10 = Denmark, Germany, Iceland, New Zealand, Portugal
15= Belgium, Colombia, Switzerland
18= Australia, Finland, Luxembourg, Norway, Reunion
Bottom 22 countries
199= Iran, Saudi Arabia
195= United Arab Emirates, Libya, Afghanistan
190= Qatar, Nigeria, Malaysia, Malawi, Cameroon
181= Zimbabwe, Uganda, Turkmenistan, Tanzania, Sudan, Kuwait, Indonesia (Aceh), Eritrea, Egypt
Top 10 US states
2= Nevada, New York
4= Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington DC
10= New Jersey, Washington state
Bottom 15 US states
45= Wyoming, South Carolina, Oklahoma, North Dakota, North Carolina, Alabama
37= West Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, Mississippi, Kentucky