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UK is the ‘best place in Europe’ to be gay

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  1. The UK will become an even better place to be LGBT because the LGBT communities and our allies will not give into the bigotry and grotesque campaigns of the right wing extremists and theocrats.

    Fairness, equality and integrity will prevail over inhumanity and unfair prejudice.

  2. James Incer 13 May 2012, 2:52pm

    We’re probably 2nd best in the world after Canada

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 13 May 2012, 3:42pm

      I second that, excuse the pun. Without equal marriage I fail to see how we can be considered the best place for LGBT people, certainly far better than many countires, but number 1? Not in my view.

  3. I’m surprised the Netherlands isn’t considered the best. They’ve had same sex marriage for over 10 years. The UK is pretty good, though. I’m looking forward to getting married in 2015.

    1. GingerlyColors 14 May 2012, 3:02am

      Don’t count your chickens before they hatch – I won’t be surprised if the Tories put marriage equality on the back-burner after their recent drubbing in the local elections.

    2. theGentleWarrior 14 May 2012, 4:40am

      The Netherlands lost all moral authority when they legalised Prostitution and Cannabis.

      It hangs over there achievements.

      1. You are having a joke surely, theGentleWarrior? Prostitution is a financial matter between two individuals, Cannabis should be legalised. If not, then ban tobacco, alcohol and gambling! Voluntary Euthanasia gives the individual the right to decide on their own existance and gets the Church and other organisations out of their face!

        1. theGentleWarrior 14 May 2012, 7:47am

          Prostitution cheapens a person. If you believe it’s just a financial matter, then you or someone can reason rape is just a minor battery offence of rubbing up and down against someone, not like breaking a person’s leg (might explain some pathetic European sentences for rape convictions), both ideas being absurd of course.

          Sexuality is an important part of your humanity, Rape is a serious crime & Prostitution is dangerous & cheapens a person.

          Beers, Wines, Spirits … while they can be abused, when not abused are taken for taste, & to enhance food & are not drugs.

          Cannabis: Outside of patient using it as medicine (by prescription from a ‘competent doctor’! & not a herbal quack) for extreme pain in cases such as chemotherapy. It is taken to feel good and nothing else. It’s dangerous, it holds people back. It is a drug.

          Absolutely ban tobacco if you can.
          Take the money out of gambling and it’ll stop.

          And I’m not against Voluntary Euthanasia with proper safeguards.

          1. Beers, Wines, Spirits … while they can be abused, when not abused are taken for taste, & to enhance food & are not drugs.

            All alcohol is potentially addictive; vodka is tasteless – do you then suggest banning it and not other forms of alcohol like wine?

            There is no point pretending alcohol isn’t a drug. I say that as someone who’s pretty enthusiastic about it in general (don’t drink spirits though).

      2. “moral authority”?

        What on earth are you blabbering about?

        Are you getting confused between a church and a democracy?

        1. theGentleWarrior 14 May 2012, 8:01am

          The church does not have a monopoly on morality and I do not derive my sense of right and wrong from a church or democracy.

          As for your democracy point, are you suggesting that because the majority said its okay it’s morally right?
          If you use democracy as a moral compass, citing North Carolina voters pass Amendment One. Does this vote make it right to ban two people from marrying? By this reasoning you (I assume you’re for) and I are in the wrong for wanting gay marriage and seeing the law as unjust when the majority don’t.

          How many people does it take, …, before it becomes wrong?

      3. theGentleWarrior 14 May 2012, 8:04am

        Typo correction: It hangs over their achievements.

        1. Suddenly Last Bummer 14 May 2012, 11:49am

          I’m surprised its the typo you decided to correct. “Prostitution and Cannabis” well aren’t you the most Neddy of Ned Flanders.

          1. theGentleWarrior 14 May 2012, 1:25pm

            If that is all you can add to the argument, you need to up your game.

            Care to play on my level. Take a point, read it, research it, counter it, if you can? Or did you concede already?

            Hell even try some honesty

  4. If you want to get married, several other countries are better

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 13 May 2012, 3:42pm

      Which really proves that we’re not equal.

    2. Marriage is only one issue among many, albeit one that is very topical, it is entirely possible to have marriage equality but to stil be more homophobic than a country without marriage equality. After all ethnic minorities are allowed tomarry, does that mean there is no racism?

      1. GingerlyColors 14 May 2012, 3:16am

        There is still a lot of social homophobia in South Africa even though gays have full rights enshrined in the law there.

  5. Holland has better gay rights than the UK, and more friendly attitude.

    1. Go the Dutch! I am biased because I have a lovely Australian born but Frisian/Dutch ‘heritage’ boyfriend! Mooi! Mooi! Mooi!

  6. I guess marriage isn’t the be all and end all when it come to a happy gay community.

  7. No one is walking freely hand to hand as in any neighborhood in Berlin, I don’t agree. I’ve been atacked when walking with my partner holding hands in London.

    1. When i can safely walk around holding my partners hand, then i know weve achieved equality.

    2. Suddenly Last Bummer 14 May 2012, 11:53am

      Absolutely. I’ve experienced and witness more homophobia here than in many of the other countries I’ve lived in or travelled/worked in.

  8. Galadriel1010 13 May 2012, 3:14pm

    Of course, we’d score lower if it were based on survey responses because we complain so much :P

    This is a great reminder of how far we’ve come and how fortunate we are, as well as a good opportunity to look at what we still have to do.

    1. Suddenly Last Bummer 14 May 2012, 11:52am

      Complain so much? But yes we may have reasons to complain?!? Would you prefer we just sat down quietly? And if we had never made protests or complaints to begin with we wouldn’t be classed as the best place to live in Europe now! What a dumb comment you made.

      1. Galadriel1010 20 May 2012, 10:10pm

        Did it not occur to you that I may have been joking?

  9. Well I guess you never know what you have. Its like the health system. We complaint about the NHS but compare it to the USA then we have a very good system. – I think it is quite good to live in the UK as a gay man. I mean I live in the North Welsh Countrycide and the equality in this area is overwhelming. I have never experienced a homophobic act here.

    1. Well, maybe, Kaysi, you need to probe their attitudes in the North Welsh countryside a bit more deeply for I have found homophobia sickening and lost back in the 1950s in the Mid Welsh countryside!

  10. GulliverUK 13 May 2012, 3:26pm

    There is still a lot to do, despite the 2nd time the UK has been deemed to be the best place in Europe.

    The things to do include;
    – equal marriage including religious marriage so Quakers, etc., are not discriminated against, along with gay Christians
    – a ban of offering reparative therapy to anyone under 18 (I’d say make it illegal period)
    – proper anti-bullying programmes across all schools, including faith schools, … Mandatory. Including LGBT history, and teaching about all types of family
    – training programmes to help GPs deal with LGBT issues, right now most of us don’t even want our GP to know if we’re gay
    – enshrine in law that a question on sexual orientation must be asked on any census – the ONS refused because they are homophobic, it seems to me. They are the ones who said there were only 1.5% LGB.
    well, I’ve got a list ! :D

    1. Why do you want a question on sexual orientation? What would that data enable you or policymakers to do?

      1. It would stop people making false claims regarding the number of homosexuals. Currently some people say well they’re only 1% of the population so they don’t matter…

  11. GulliverUK 13 May 2012, 3:27pm

    ps. When you’ve got people like Stephen Fry, who can own some twit like this, you know it’s a great place.

  12. UK best for gays? London best for tourists? All these accolades in the year of the Olympics – sounds like not very coincidental marketing.

    1. GingerlyColors 14 May 2012, 3:13am

      It’s good for the tourist trade!

  13. I think the UK is a good place overall for gay equality, even if there still is some stuff to do before we get full equality.I see Scotland gets a particular mention due to it’s hate crime legislation. Let’s hope Scotland also leads on marriage equality too next month when the SNP government decide whether or not to go ahead with it. I really, really hope they do.

  14. Robert in S. Kensington 13 May 2012, 3:40pm

    Really? So why is it equal marriage isn’t legal. CPs have nothing to do with full equality.

  15. The obvious bias towards what is familiar becomes apparent. Where are the Nederlands or Spain?

  16. Odd, the results as I always feel more secure in Spain rather than the UK.

  17. Ironic,the olympics here in 2012.

    My personal view,is the Netherlands,should be number one and the U.K. way down the list,until marriage for those who want to be married is legalised.

    Further,I have been attacked in the U.K. and never in mainland Europe.

    1. Never in mainland Europe .

      Try Russia and Serbia then ,see what happens there .

      UK souldnt be number 1, I would of thought the Netherlands ,or one or two of the Scandinavian countries .

      1. Tim Hopkins 14 May 2012, 9:08am

        The Netherlands has worse laws than we do for trans people – less protection from discrimination and a compulsory medical treatment and sterilisation for gender recognition. Those things outweigh equal marriage in the calculation, which is based on the legal position of LGB and T people!

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 14 May 2012, 2:44pm

      I think it also has a lot to do with poor education in the UK. Mainland Europe has a far better education system, higher standards and a longer school year, especially in France, Germany and Scandinavia. University entrance numbers are far higher in mainlaind Europe than in the UK. I think we should have been rated at least number 7. If we don’t get equal marriage then maybe even lower.

  18. “However, social and cultural attitudes are not considered in the report.”?

    That would be pretty important no?

    1. Yes, but harder to define objectively.

  19. Jock S. Trap 13 May 2012, 7:32pm

    Good positive news to be proud of.

    Now lets make us the best in the world by setting the date for marriage Equality and all other inequality that need ot be addressed.

  20. Other struggling LGBT youth in other parts of the world would literally kill to migrate to UK in order to escape from discriminatiom at their nations. The grass might be greener on the other side, but I often envy how free the gay men in UK are. At least the society is less cruel and more tolerant towards people like us. I live in Asia and things are not looking so good here. It appears very gloomy. No justice or freedom for LGBT as people like us are perceived as evil, mentally ill and must be ‘fixed’. It drives me suicidal. UK does appear to be a haven for the oppressed LGBT, just saying.

    1. Can you get a working visa and get out of there?

      1. JP. If you get down keep posting here and dowhat you can top get out of there. I know its easier said than done but do your best

    2. GingerlyColors 14 May 2012, 3:12am

      Here in the UK we have always welcomed the persecuted, whoever they are and I would be happy to have you here. As for the many people who come to live here, yet they hate our country and our values, they are free to leave and free up space for genuine cases like you.

      1. Suddenly Last Bummer 14 May 2012, 11:56am

        Indeed we have welcomed the persecuted and now ‘they’ve’ taken over Tower Hamlets and put up Gay Free zone stickers, ironic huh?

  21. Juris Lavrikovs 13 May 2012, 7:49pm

    Dear friends,
    Just a few comments form ILGA-Europe:
    The exclusive which was published today in The Independent and replicated by the UK LGBTI media is misleading. We DO measure ONLY legislations and admin practices, and NOT social attitudes. Currently its impossible to obtain comparative data from 49 countries on social attitudes. But it is certainly our long terms goal to conduct such survey but at the moment its simply not possible. Our legal Rainbow Europe Index has 40 categories which are relevant not just to gay, but also to lesbian, bisexual, trans and intersex people. And while some countries indeed have marriage equality, the UK is ahead due to the laws which explicitly refer to gender identity and intersex people (Scotland). You can view our Rainbow Map and Index on Tuesday on our website. Hope this helps. ILGA-Europe.

  22. Straight bashing !!

    1. Jock S. Trap 21 May 2012, 11:06am

      Crazy says what now?

  23. Huh? We don’t even have equal marriage rights or equal blood transfusion rights here?

    Evidently some people are being waaay too complacent…

  24. UK possibly deserves a pat on the back for being “Most improved”, however I am frankly baffled by what measure the UK is a better place to be gay than say Sweden or the Netherlands.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 14 May 2012, 2:39pm

      I agree! I’ve personally experienced far more homophobia on the streets of the UK than I have in Holland, Norway, Belgium and Canada that I have visited. I don’t think we deserve the number one designation.

      1. The key to that may just lie in ‘visited’ – it’s not really fair to compare the country you live in with places that you’ve only visited, is it?

  25. Huh? How can the UK be better than say, Spain, which gives EXACTLY the same rights but it also has no blood ban, and (if I recall) only has comercial surogacy as a restriction. Plus the better Social atitudies there.

    Don’t get me wrong, the UK is in the Europe top 5 for sure, but top spot probably not.

    1. Tim Hopkins 14 May 2012, 9:00am

      Spain is behind the UK on its laws for trans people, which is why it is just beaten by the UK in this league table. The table is only about laws, not about the social situation, and includes laws for trans and intersex people as well as LGB people.

      1. Ah, thanks, good to know.

  26. As an Australian, to me, the UK is the best place in the whole world to be gay. I’d give up here in a heartbeat if I could.

    1. Oh, come on, mate! You don’t know what you’re talking about. Or maybe you are thinking of central London only – and that’s not “the UK”.

      No, give me Melbourne or Sydney any day.

      1. Suddenly Last Bummer 14 May 2012, 11:59am

        Absolutely Eddy, I think some people are a bit Soho centric and assume the rest of the UK is all muscles and vests and cute foreign lads working in the Starbucks on the corner of Old Compton Street. Puhleease…….

      2. Yes, but Melbourne and Sydney are hardly “Australia” either, are they?

      3. Galadriel1010 20 May 2012, 10:14pm

        You’re making the same mistake though. Sydney and Melbourne are not representative of the whole country any more than London is. Having said that, I’ve spent about the same amount of time in Sydney as I have in London, less if anything, and Sydney remains the only place in the world I’ve ever received homophobic abuse.

  27. I prefer ‘best island to be gay’ LOL we are not European for starters

    1. That There Other David 13 May 2012, 11:59pm

      There’s always someone that pipes up with that one. British people ARE European, in the same way that the Japanese are Asian and Madagascans are African.

      As for Theresa May, what’s she so delighted about? Did she miss the bit where the report says the UK only achieved the accolade thanks to Holyrood, which has never been governed by the Tories? When Westminster catches up to the legislation north of the border THEN she can be delighted. Until then, she should pull her finger out.

      1. Suddenly Last Bummer 14 May 2012, 12:05pm

        Why are you even indulging him with a reply?!

  28. GingerlyColors 14 May 2012, 3:08am

    What makes a country great to be gay in is not just the legal position for gays, in our case the lack of marriage equality being the fly in the ointment. It is nice to have society in general accepting gays as part of it. Social attitudes towards gays has advanced greatly and I view the days of Section 28 as being reflective of society’s attitudes then. Today there is no desire for a return to those days. If Europe is the best continent to be gay and Britain is the best country to be gay in then surely that makes Britain the best country in the whole world to be gay! Of course the Scandanavian countries and the Netherlands must equal Britain in those stakes and elsewhere, Canada and Argentina are flying the Rainbow Flag.

    1. No desire for a return to Section 28?

      Have you not noticed the continuing poisonous bigotry of the Conservative Party?

      The extremely posh Callmedave Cameron is a worthless spin-merchant if you look at the homophobic hatred that defines the Conservative Party.

  29. Was The Netherlands left out of the survey? It’s miles better than the UK in terms of law and attitude.

    1. Tim Hopkins 14 May 2012, 9:05am

      The Netherlands is behind the UK on laws protecting trans people from discrimination, and it requires compulsory medical treatment and sterilisation before gender recognition is granted. That’s why, overall, the Netherlands ranks lower than the UK for laws affecting LGBT people, even though it has equal marriage.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 14 May 2012, 2:35pm

      Absolutely right. It was the trend setter for equal marriage, the first country to legalise it eleven years ago. No polygamy there either or demand for it although Craig Whittaker et al would disagree.

  30. You have always had the best gay scene.

    Just hope you don’t lose it like the rest of the world has done.

    So busy wanting to fit in with mainstream and be inclusive that our way of life and lifestyle has been sacrificed for it.

    Here they want us to reform and embrace mainstream society. But at what cost to us. We have become second class citizens again with the loss of the gay venues and clubs.

    I could Talk a lot about this subject.

    1. “our way of life and lifestyle has been sacrificed for it.”

      If you’re referencing to hiding like rats in dark bars where you have to knock on the door to get in, and having no legal recourse to prevent persecution, then good riddance to it.

    2. Harry (twitter: @hsmall) 14 May 2012, 10:54am

      I want to be part of an ordinary respectable married couple thank you very much. Not interested in hiding in separate facilities (pun intended!).

      1. Suddenly Last Bummer 14 May 2012, 12:01pm

        Maybe he’s talking about pubs like the Eagle in Vauxhall or the Joiners Arms in Shoreditch which were once the preserve of the LGBT community but are now jammed full of f@g hags and straight chav drug dealers every Saturday night.

  31. Tina Holmboe 14 May 2012, 7:49am

    Guess Norway doesn’t count as “European” then. What a puzzling report.

    1. Tim Hopkins 14 May 2012, 9:14am

      Like a number of other countries that have very good laws for LGB people, Norway is some way behind the UK on its laws for trans people. So it scores lower overall on its laws, when the LGB and T scores are combined together.

      1. Suddenly Last Bummer 14 May 2012, 11:47am

        If we’re comparing laws then maybe but if we’re talking about the public’s attitude or rather the straight public’s attitude to the LGBT community then the UK has a long way to go before it could be considered the best place to live in Europe for us.

        1. As it says in the article, However, social and cultural attitudes are not considered in the report.

  32. Sure, the UK is a great place to be but not if you are trans and are married (or in a CP).

    Remember it is 2012 and the UK still insists that a married trans person must divorce before he/she can be legally recognised in their true gender.

    Such barbaric treatment by the State could be eliminated, now, by allowing trans folk to remain married on gender recognition. This would have the effect of demonstrating that government really is committed to introducing equal marriage for all.

  33. Tim Hopkins 14 May 2012, 9:17am

    The key thing here is that there is no room for complacency. The UK is well behind on marriage equality and on gender recognition requiring divorce and medicalisation. Our anti-discrimination law doesn’t protect trans people if they don’t intend gender reassignment. And Northern Ireland is further behind on adoption law.

    And that’s just the laws – as others have said, we also have to address discrimination and prejudice in society.

  34. UK is the ‘best place in Europe’ to be gay? I suppose so, BUT . . .

    Heard last week that neighbours have sold their property and that they’ve said to another neighbour “Awfully sorry, but I’m afraid we’ve sold to a couple of gay men”.

    It was a genuine, heartfelt, apology.

    But at least the neighbour to whom this apology was given replied, “Oh, well. Maybe they might turn out to be nice”.

    Homophobia is alive and well in the UK.

    So I suggest the headline for this article should read

    “UK is least worst place in Europe to be gay”.

  35. Suddenly Last Bummer 14 May 2012, 11:44am

    WTF? Sad sweet dreamers….Maybe the UK is better in terms of legalities etc but there are far more homophobes roaming the streets of Britain than you’ll find in somewhere like Holland.

  36. Best place to be gay, sure. But definitely not the best place to be trans. Not yet at least, anyway.

  37. “Currently its impossible to obtain comparative data from 49 countries on social attitudes”?
    No polls or surveys available then?

  38. I say Sweden is probably the best country for gay people, but not trans people, legally at least. Denmark, Netherlands and Holland must come very close. Denmark had registered partnerships in 1987… Soon we will have gay martiage in church, they already do in Sweden.
    Sorry to put a fly in your soup but i think there are more tolerant places. Its not a competion however…

    1. I meant Germany not Holland which is also Netherlands

    2. Netherlands and Holland? England and the Uk? Bayern and Germany? Think again dear

  39. What about Iceland?
    Their prime minister is a married lesbian with adopted children, and nobody thinks anything vaguely odd about that. They’ve been at the forefront of equality for years. I’d love to move there one day.

  40. Jock S. Trap 21 May 2012, 11:10am

    Why do we insist on bashing good positive news about our country?

    So we can find incidents… it doesn’t change the fact that this country by some has been seen are good. Surely something to celebrate not condemn?

    But then aren’t some of us in danger of finding something negative in even the best positive news.


    Well, I for one feel proud to be British with this great positive news.

  41. Uh, what?

    What about Sweden? Norway? Hell ANY of the Nordic countries?

  42. Jonathan Kwan HC 22 Sep 2012, 5:01pm

    Wait, Lichtenstein at the one of bottom?! The country has also got registered partnership and about 68% supported it!! But, I’m really curious why they don’t have anti-discrimination laws for gays like in rest of the Europe……

  43. In liverpol, a very good man was battered to the ground for being gay outside a gay bar just months after a policeman was hospitalised in the same brutal way.

    My school was a breeding ground for homophobia, and little has changed I’m willing to bet

    The mainstream media is hardly inclusive or accurate

    The gay bars are run entirely by straight business men who care little about the community and you never see same sex couples showing affection in public, probably because they’re nervous.

    In NE London, some pretty anti-gay things were happening not so long ago?

    So while we should feel lucky and happy because of this, let’s not forget that London and everywhere else in the UK still has a long way to go !

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