In a new index of 150 countries’ friendliness towards gay, lesbian and trance travelers performed by the LGBTQ+ Danger Index, Sweden is ranked no. 1 followed by Canada and Norway. Denmark ranks no. 14. So, Scandinavia Ranked One of the Safest Areas in the World for gay people.
The LGBT+ Danger index ranks the 150 most visited countries on eight different factors that may impact gay, lesbian and trans travelers, including legalizing same-sex marriage, worker protection and whether, based on Gallup poll findings, it is a good place to live.
Gallup on gay issues
Gallup first polled on gay issues in USA in 1977. Since then, Gallup has gone on to ask dozens of questions about LGBT people and their rights and polling about LGBT acceptance internationally since 2005.
While some of the factors in the LGBTQ+ Danger Index do not directly impact travelers, the research reveals such factors are a decent overall indication of the attitudes within a culture. The authors of the research is an American couple, Asher and Lyric Fergusson, who also has a blog about safe traveling.
Scandinavia Ranked One of the Safest Areas in the World
Sweden has a long history of LGBT rights. Sexual activity between those of the same gender was legalized as long ago as 1944. Sweden was the first country to allow transgender persons to change their legal gender after reassignment surgery.
Related: Leaders in Gender Enlightment
Norway has a law prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and expression since 2013, and is one of the few countries in the world to explicitly protect intersex people from discrimination. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression shall be prohibited.
The rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender persons in Denmark are some of the most extensive in the world. Same-sex sexual activity was legalized in 1933, and since 1977, the age of consent has been 15, regardless of sexual orientation or gender.
Same-sex relationships are illegal in 38 of the countries on the list and punishable by death in five (Nigeria, Qatar, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iran). Some of the countries where it is illegal to be gay are also popular tourist destinations such as Jamaica, where in a 2013 survey of 71 LGBT people conducted by Human Rights Watch, more than half said they had been victims of homophobic violence.
The index notes: “These countries where homosexuality is illegal are also often severe human rights violators, usually penalizing male/male sexuality and/or trans women most harshly.”
Countries at the bottom of the index include Nigeria, Qatar, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
Scandinavia Ranked One of the Safest Areas in the World, compiled by Tor Kjolberg