HOLIDAY destinations around the world vary immensely regarding attitudes to LGBTQ+ issues.

Over the last few years, there have been major changes in laws and general tolerance surrounding the issue of same-sex marriage and LGBTQ+ rights around the world.

However public opinion is still extremely divided on the acceptance of homosexuality, depending geographic location, region and economic development.

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WORLD’S APART: How tolerance levels vary around the world

Dating website, MyDatingAdviser.com, researched 34 countries and concluded that Sweden is the best country for LGBTQ+ travel, as attitudes and laws are gay-friendly, compared to others in Europe and around the world.

Their study ranked the most gay-friendly destinations and listed the best countries for LGBTQ+ travel. 

Factors taken into account were issues like society acceptance towards homosexuality, sexual activity rights, civil union rights, marriage rights, adoption rights, military service rights, anti-discimination and gender identity laws.

Briefly, the Top 10 Best Countries for LGBTQ+ Travel in 2021:

Lgbtq Hands
  1. Sweden
  2. Netherlands
  3. Spain
  4. France
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Germany
  7. Canada
  8. Australia
  9. Brazil
  10. Argentina

And the bottom five are:

30. Lebanon
31. Indonesia
32. Kenya
33. Tunisia
34. Nigeria

Full details and findings are listed here

Spain and UK in more detail

Spain

LGBTQ+ Travel Index Score: 96.7
Society Acceptance: 89%
Sexual Activity Rights: Legal since 1979. + UN decl. sign.
Civil Union Rights: De facto unions introduced nationwide between 1998 and 2018.
Marriage Rights: Legal since 2005.
Adoption Rights: Legal since 2005.
Military Service Rights: Includes transgender people.
Anti-Discrimination Laws: Bans all anti-gay discrimination, pathologization or attempted treatment of sexual orientation by mental health professionals illegal in Andalusia, Madrid, Murcia and Valencia.
Gender Identity Laws: Since 2007, all documents can be amended to the recognised gender.

United Kingdom

LGBTQ+ Travel Index Score: 95.7
Society Acceptance: 86%
Sexual Activity Rights: Female always legal. Male legal in England and Wales since 1967, in Scotland since 1981, and in Northern Ireland since 1982.+ UN decl. sign.
Civil Union Rights: Civil partnerships since 2005.
Marriage Rights: Legal in England and Wales, and Scotland since 2014, and Northern Ireland since 2020.
Adoption Rights: Legal in England and Wales since 2005, in Scotland since 2009 and Northern Ireland since 2013.
Military Service Rights: Since 2000; Includes transgender people.
Anti-Discrimination Laws: Bans all anti-gay discrimination.
Gender Identity Laws: Under the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

TRAVELLING TIPS FOR LGBTQ+ TRAVELLERS

1. Research
Find information on laws and social attitudes towards homosexuality and gender identity in the country and area you’re visiting.

2. Avoid Public Displays Of Affection Where There Are Low Levels Of Tolerance.
In some countries homosexuality and/or homosexual relations are illegal and subject to penalties. Where relations are legal, the levels of tolerance and acceptance within society may vary hugely. For this reason, it may be best to avoid overly public displays of affection so as to not attract unwanted attention.

3. Take The Same Precautions You Would At Home.
Even when you are traveling in an LGBT friendly country, it’s a good idea to follow the same precautions you would at home.

4. Take Sensible Precautions If You Meet Other LGBT People.
Find out about the local situation. In countries where attitudes towards LGBT people are hostile,  there have been right-wing groups and police known to carry out entrapment campaigns.

5. Ignore Unwelcome Remarks Or Attention And Move To A Safe Place.
You may receive unwelcome attention or unwelcome remarks. This depends on the area you’re in and you may want to report it to the authorities.

6. Exercise More Discretion In Rural Areas.
In some countries, you are more likely to experience difficulties while in rural areas, so it’s best to exercise more discretion.

7. Check That Your Hotel Will Make Bookings From Same Sex Couples Before You Go.
Some hotels, especially in rural areas, may refuse bookings from same sex couples.

8. Research Local LGBT-Inclusive Charities, Organisations And Travel Agents.
If you need advice or care while under duress overseas, these groups can help.

OTHER LGBTQ+ NEWS: Spanish Government to create law protecting transgender people in Spain

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