The most – and least – LGBTIQ-friendly countries in Europe revealed


malta same-sex marriage rainbow parliament
Photo: MGRM_Malta / Twitter

Malta has been named the most LGBTIQ-friendly travel destination in Europe for the fourth year in a row.

Advocacy group ILGA-Europe produces the Rainbow Europe list annually, ranking 49 European countries based on how their laws and policies impact on the lives of LGBTIQ people.

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Categories include equality and non-discrimination, families, hate crime and hate speech, legal gender recognition and bodily integrity, civil society space and granting of asylum.

Malta earned a 90.35 per cent rating out of 100 on the 2019 Rainbow Europe list.

The country became the first European country to ban dangerous “gay conversion therapy” in 2016.

Same-sex marriage is legal in Malta, and gender-neutral passports were introduced last year.

Belgium came in second place on the 2019 Rainbow Europe list, with a 73.08 per cent rating.

Luxenbourg scored 70.40 per cent, coming in third.

Azerbaijan, Turkey and Armenia ranked lowest on the list, indicating “gross violations of human rights and discrimination”.

ILGA-Europe co-chair Darienne Flemington said the formula for a country’s high ranking was an obvious one.

“Laws and explicit policies matter. Political leadership matters,” she said.

“Add to this mix meaningful engagement with communities and civil society and you can make a real difference in the lives of LGBTIQ+ people.”

Best destinations for LGBTIQ travellers

Malta (90 per cent)

Belgium (73 per cent)

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Luxembourg (70 per cent)

Finland (69 per cent)

Denmark (68 per cent)

Norway (68 per cent)

Portugal (66 per cent)

France (63 per cent)

UK (62 per cent)

Sweden (62 per cent)

Worst destinations for LGBTIQ travellers

Azerbaijan (3 per cent)

Turkey (5 per cent)

Armenia (6 per cent)

Russia (10 per cent)

Monaco (11 per cent)

San Marino (13 per cent)

Belarus (13 per cent)

Lichtenstein (14 per cent)

Moldova (14 per cent)

North Macedonia (16 per cent)

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