From legislation that provides same-sex couples with access to health care benefits, to countries that recognize non-binary gender identities, these countries around the world remain at the forefront of global LGBTQ rights. Learn what makes them the most gay friendly countries and how you can join in their fight for equality. In addition we’ll mention some countries that shows good movement into accepting the LGBTQ+ communities and that they’re(for now) okay to travel to if you’re a part of the community.
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The Top 24 Most Gay Friendly Countries
The most gay friendly countries in North America:
Canada has been a leader in the fight for LGBTQ rights, recently taking steps to eradicate conversion therapy and enable transgender citizens to identify with any gender on their passport. Public opinion in the country has become more positive towards queer rights, with polls finding that 82% of Canadians “support legal recognition of same-sex marriages”. Recently, theCanada Pride Fest was held in Toronto — a festival aimed at connecting and celebrating marginalized communities within Canada.
Many states in the United States have laws protecting LGBTQ rights and marriage equality, but some states still have laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right; however, attitudes toward LGBTQ people vary greatly across the country, and discrimination remains a concern in some areas. Here is a list of all the states that are accepting the LGBTQ+ in the laws perspective:
Although Mexico City and some states have legalized same-sex marriage and have laws protecting LGBTQ rights, discrimination and violence against LGBTQ people are still an issue in some parts of the country. Mexico as a country is relatively tolerant of LGBTQ people, but there are still areas where discrimination and violence are more prevalent.
Despite having a generally accepting attitude toward LGBTQ people, Cuba has not yet authorized same-sex unions. The government has taken action to defend LGBTQ rights, passing anti-discrimination legislation and offering free gender reassignment surgery, among other things. However, there are still some places where society has unfavorable views of LGBTQ people.
The most gay friendly countries in Europe:
Sweden is one of the most gay friendly countries in Europe and its progressive views on LGBTQ rights are widely respected. In fact, same-sex marriage has been legal since 2009, making it one of the first countries to recognize such unions. Sweden also decriminalized homosexuality in 1944, and anti-discrimination laws were passed in 1987. Recently, Stockholm held their annual Pride celebration, drawing over 700,000 people together to celebrate equality.
Compared to many other European countries, Spain has long been regarded as one of the most gay-friendly nations in the world. Same-sex marriage has been legal here since 2005 and numerous laws protecting LGBTQ+ people have been passed since 2006. Madrid is the epicentre of LGBT culture in Spain, hosting a Popular Gay Pride Week every summer and various competitions featuring some of Europe’s best drag queens. In 2016, Spain became the first country in the world to officially recognize transsexual rights and it remains one of the most accepting places on planet Earth.
Norway is often celebrated for its progressive approach to human rights and gender equality, and the country has been lauded for its stance on LGBTQ+ rights. Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1972 and same-sex marriage was legalized in 2009. Non-traditional families are now officially recognized as legal in Norway, even offering adoption rights to gay couples. As of 2011, “Lover’s Rights” – a law granting survivorship pensions to partners – were extended to same-sex couples, giving them increased security.
Malta may be small in size and population, but it has consistently been one of the world’s most progressive nations when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights. In fact, recent laws implemented here mean that, from 2017 onwards, gender identity is no longer something that needs to be medically confirmed. Same-sex marriage went into effect in July 2017 and the whole country raised a collective cheer. Major cities like Valletta have strong LGBT scenes, mostly celebrated during the Malta Pride festival organised every summer since 2008.
Portugal is one of the most LGBTQ-inclusive countries in the world and the first to recognize non-binary genders. In 2019, Portugal enacted a law that allows citizens to self-identify their gender on official documents regardless of legal gender declaration or medical interventions. Additionally, biological parents can no longer add gender markers to birth certificates and medical doctors cannot be forced to perform gender reassignment surgery or hormonal treatments.
The Netherlands is widely considered one of the most LGBTQ-friendly countries in the world, with same-sex marriages legal since 2001, as well as one of the few countries to recognize non-binary people. The Dutch government has also implemented progressive policies and initiatives to protect LGBTQ citizens in the workplace and schools. In addition, Amsterdam is renowned for its vibrant nightlife scene, with multiple gay bars and clubs that host annual events such as PrideFest.
Denmark is surely a gay-friendly country. From 1933 it’s legal to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community and in 1989, Denmark was the first country that legalize the registration of the same-sex couples under the category of domestic partners/couples. In addition, in 2012, the same-sex marriage has been legal. In general, Denmark has a long way back of protecting the LGBTQ+ community rights and there is a large amount of laws that put in place in order to do it. Even when the picture seems so bright for the community, there are still some organizations that work to promote the community rights.
The LGBTQ+ community is treated with a fair amount of tolerance in France, which also has legislation protecting their rights. Since 1791, it has been lawful to engage in same-sex sexual conduct in France, and in 2013, it was made possible to marry someone of the same gender. In 2013, same-sex couples could legally adopt children.
Anti-discrimination laws are in place in the nation to protect LGBTQ people in the workplace and in other areas. In France, there are a number of LGBTQ+ organizations and pride celebrations, including Paris Pride.
Known for its expansive landscapes, stunning views, and laid-back culture, Iceland has long been a haven for LGBTQ individuals. The country declared same-sex marriage legal in 2010 and has since strived to advance LGBT rights. From Sognaskoðun, an organization dedicated to lobbying for homo-and trans rights in the workplace, to Reykjavík Pride Festival — one of Northern Europe’s largest celebrations of queer love — Iceland is unsurprisingly among the world’s most gay friendly countries.
With a unique culture that celebrates inclusivity, Belgium ranks prominently among the list of the world’s most gay friendly countries. This small nation is home to one of the oldest and largest organizations that pushes for LGBT rights–CTB (COC – Centre Culturel Gilles Taminaux). Founded in 1951 and operating to this day, CTB promotes laws that serve the interests of LGBTQ individuals, works tirelessly to protect their human rights, and continues their efforts to promote safe spaces free from homophobia and discrimination.
Is internationally renowned for its open-minded and tolerant attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community. Same-sex marriage has been legal in the UK since 2014 and anti-discrimination laws are in effect to protect the rights of these individuals. This makes the UK one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world, recognized by various organizations around the globe.
Germany is generally considered to be a gay-friendly country. Same-sex sexual activity has been legal in Germany since 1969, and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has been banned since 2006. Same-sex couples have been able to enter into registered partnerships since 2001, and have been able to marry since 2017. Germany also has a vibrant LGBTQ+ community and hosts several annual pride events, including the famous Christopher Street Day parade in Berlin. However, like any country, there are still instances of discrimination and prejudice towards the LGBTQ+ community.
The most gay friendly countries in Africa
One of the gay-friendliest nations in Africa is thought to be South Africa. Since 1997, homosexuality has been legal, and in 2006, the nation became the first in Africa to enable same-sex unions. The rights of LGBTQ+ people are also protected by some of the most progressive legislation in the world in South Africa, including a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation in industries like employment, housing, and healthcare. As you can see if you scroll down, South Africa is the only country in Africa that allows the same sex marriage.
The most gay friendly countries in Asia
In 2019, Taiwan became the first nation in Asia to legalize same-sex unions after the Taiwanese Constitutional Court ruled that the country’s previous regulations that restricted marriage to men and women were discriminatory. The nation also contains laws preventing discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in fields like employment and housing, as well as a thriving LGBTQ+ community. Even though Taiwan is seen as a gay-friendly nation, there are still conservative forces at work in the community that oppose LGBTQ+ rights, and prejudice and discrimination still persist.
In 2007, Nepal allowed gay marriage and recognized a “third gender” in its laws. The country’s society is relatively receiving the LGBTQ+ community and there’s a growing movement to promote LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance. It is important to note, however, that Nepal is a conservative society, and discrimination and prejudice against LGBTQ+ people still exist, especially in rural areas and among certain groups in society. It is also worth noting that, while Nepal has made some progress in terms of legal protections for LGBTQ+ people, laws and people’s attitudes can and should change over time.
The most gay friendly countries in South America
Argentina was the first Latin American country to allow same-sex marriage in 2010, and it has laws that protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in areas such as employment and housing. In addition Furthermore, Argentina’s society is relatively accepting of LGBTQ+ people, and there is a big movement to promote LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance. But , it is important to note that discrimination and prejudice still exist, especially in rural areas and among certain social groups.
Since 1842, it’s legal to be gay in Brazil and the society is really accepting the LGBTQ+ community. Yet discrimination and prejudice are still exist, especially against transgenders and for all the people who identify as LGBTQ+ in the village areas. In the last years, there was rise in crimes against the community and the government has been accused for not doing enough to protect the LGBTQ+ community
Since 2013 Uruguay made the same-sex marriage legal and there are even laws that were made in order to protect the LGBTQ+ community in places like jobs and housing. In addition the Uruguay society is fairly accepting and hugs the LGBTQ+ community and there is even a large movement in order to promote LGBTQ+ rights. Yet, like every country, not all the people accepting and the discrimination and prejudice still exist.
Colombia decriminalized homosexuality in 1980 and has legislation guarding against discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in settings including work and housing. In addition, Colombian society is generally supportive of LGBTQ+ people, and there is a growing movement to support their rights and acceptance. However, it’s important to note that prejudice and discrimination still exist, especially in rural regions and against transgender people and others who identify as LGBTQ+.
Ecuador legalized same-sex marriage in 2019, and there are laws that protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in areas such as employment and housing. Furthermore, Ecuadorian society is relatively accepting of LGBTQ+ people, and there is a growing movement to promote LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance. However, it is important to note that discrimination and prejudice still exist, particularly in rural areas for transgender people and those who identify as LGBTQ+. The country has some conservative sectors that have been opposed to LGBTQ+ rights advancements, and some violence against the community has been reported, but in general, society has been more accepting and supportive.
Countries that are on their way to accept LGBTQ+ community
In Egypt, it’s legal to be gay. However, the law enforces use other ways and laws like “debauchery” in order to arrest and prosecute the LGBTQ+ community. In the last years there we’re multiple attempts to hurt the LGBTQ+ community and the government made a lot of “high-profile” arrests on a lot of people who were accused of “promoting homosexuality”. Nevertheless, there is a really a great moving towards accepting the LGBTQ+ community, mostly in urban areas like Cairo. In addition, there are some organizations that are working to promote LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance
In 2018, the Supreme Court of India overturned a colonial-era law that had made same-sex relationships unlawful, leading to the legalization of homosexuality in that nation. Although the legislative change was a significant improvement, homosexuality is still stigmatized in many facets of Indian culture, particularly in rural and small towns. Numerous LGBTQ+ people continue to encounter harassment and violence. They routinely face discrimination. Additionally, LGBTQ+ people lack legal protection in domains like employment and housing
Israel, Mostly Tel Aviv
Israel is regarded as one of the most gay-friendly nations in the Middle East and has relatively robust legal safeguards for LGBTQ+ individuals compared to its neighbors. Since 1988, same-sex relationships are permitted, and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is outlawed in all areas of life, including work, housing, and the provision of goods and services.
However, it’s important to note that there are still incidents of discrimination and harassment towards members of the LGBTQ+ community and that sentiments toward them might differ among the general public
If you have been in Thailand, you will know for sure it’s gay friendly country. Same-sex relationships are not illegal and the country has a really large and vibrant Community. There are a lot of annual pride events that are hosted in Bangkok and other cities and in addition you will find a lot of venues that are dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community. Furthermore the Thai society is very open minded and accepting of LGBTQ+ individuals and also transgender individuals, you could see it in there entertainment industry. However there aren’t any rules protecting the LGBTQ+ community and not all people likes this idea.
There is room for progress
I hope I didn’t had to write this article and that all the country were accepting but this is the situation for now. I hope you gathered your information and you’ll know which country is the best for you to travel next.
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