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ILGA-Europe releases 2013 European LGBT rights map

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  1. Northern Cyprus isn’t in the EU

    1. As far as I know, the EU and all its members (and most other countries) do not recognise Northern Cyprus’s government – they consider its territory to be part of Cyprus and therefore the EU. Though I suspect the intention was to call Northern Cyprus the only place in Europe where homosexuality is a criminal act (this is what the earlier article says, and is true for any reasonable definition of “Europe”).

      1. Northern Cyprus is not recognised by the EU or the UN. It is only really recognised by Turkey and a few others.

    2. it doesn’t say anywhere that it is. This repost covers all of Europe, not just EU member states.

      1. They’ve edited he article since I made my comment

      2. They’ve edited their article since I posted

  2. Surprised that Spain and the Netherlands score lower than Britain. Germany scores less than I would have expected too (surprised that it’s lower than France).

    1. Equality Network 16 May 2013, 1:07pm

      Spain scores lower than the UK because it doesn’t have national law banning discrimination on grounds of gender reassignment or identity, and in some parts of the country requires compulsory medical treatment before gender recognition is possible. The Netherlands scores lower for similar reasons, and because married/registered same-sex couples are not automatically both recognised as the parents of a child born to one of them. You can find the details here:

      1. So what you’re saying is if I wasn’t so lazy I could have easily located the reasons for myself.

        I think you may have a point : ) Thanks

      2. Also, the Netherlands still has a law which forces transgender people to become sterile in order to change their IDs to the correct gender.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 16 May 2013, 3:38pm

      Having equal marriage doesn’t necessarily mean a country has more rights, far from it. Good to see though that the UK leads on individual rights for gay people. Now on to full equality by passing equal marriage into law.

  3. That There Other David 16 May 2013, 12:35pm

    Italians must be so proud at just how much in common their country has with ex-Soviet thug-run states and Muslim countries. Same shade as Belarus. Lovely.

    1. The sad thing is that straight Italians are proud of this and gay Italians don’t care.

      1. As a straight Italian, I’m absolutely not proud of it and many others are indeed not happy to live in a country so cruel and unfair against gay/lesbian/transgender people.

        But anyway it’s a mentality problem in every citizen, regardless of if he/she come from Northern or Southern regions, personal income, political and religious beliefs, age, education and so on. Also, Italian legislation is very muddled and archaic and many times is unclear and even conflicting. Although hypothetically homosexuality was never deemed illegal in Italy, it was always considered as a bad illness, a flaw and a shame for the entire family.

    2. Perhaps this is why so many gay Italians leave Italy

      1. Gay italians, as all Italian obviously, are the first to feel sorry for oneself.

  4. I never report the abuse. I’m in the process of leaving London as it is now unsafe unless you live in Zone 1 and only Russians and Chinese can afford to live there

    1. That There Other David 16 May 2013, 1:44pm

      …and me apparently. Where in London do you live James?

      1. the cheap part and you?

    2. I live in zone1 in social housing, and there are plenty of violent homophobes about , but if I walk further up the same road, could be a different city. I had moved out of London for a while and it was a liberating experience, but had to return to provide some family support. It’s refreshing though to hear someone else who has experienced it rather than the usual old hype. I hope you move somewhere safe and wish you happiness for your future.

      1. Cheers Rapture.

        London is ok if you can avoid social housing estates and you are middle class. You have to let them know you are above them you have to look like you have old money and are not flash. If they think for one second they are above you they will attack it’s all they have.

        I hate the class system but I accept it’s necessary to let some people know their place.

        2 friends have left London and couldn’t believe they took so long to do something about it.

        On an unrelated note do your PPI people. I got £9k from my bank yesterday

    3. London is now unsafe – more than it was, say, 20 years ago? That’s not the impression I get, though I’d say the main point is that it’s impossible to generalise about a city that can vary so hugely from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. Parts of Zone 1 can be fairly threatening too, though by and large it isn’t (and there’s plenty of social housing or former social housing around, which means it’s not only Russians and Chinese here, though I grant you it can be ludicrously expensive).

      1. Ok this morning I saw a bus go right past a gay guy. He may have been metro sexual but my gaydar went off. I’ve seen it happen before and it’s happened to me. That is quite normal it’s not violent but that constant drip effect ain’t good for no one.

        Early 90’s you got the odd idiot but most people kept their opinions to themselves. Now hardly a day goes past without me hearing battyman or something. I only had one incident at school most people just left me alone now I dread to think what the kids go through.

        so yes London is rubbish unless you’re rich and can insulate yourself

        1. I can only speak for myself, but in my experience the early 90s were by no means better than the present – though admittedly the vocabulary used was somewhat different.

        2. I agree that there is a very insidious/covert form of homophobia. I don’t believe the police figures at all as my experience was one where I was advised to change my lifestyle after been beaten up , and from others I’ve spoken to it seems a general cavalier approach to hate crime here. Also , that freedom of information leak regarding how many rapists/violent offences just get a caution in London, hardly would motivate anyone to make a report to the fiddled statistics.

    4. I live in zone 2 (right next to zone 1) for over 7 years now and never experienced any homophobia and prejudice. In fact I’d say that over the years London got safer.

  5. You can open the PDF map by clicking on one of the top-right links on THIS PAGE:

  6. Fascinating to see that ILGA gives “the national legal and policy human rights situation” in the UK the highest score in all Europe: 77%.

    Russia is lowest with 7%.

    I’m surprised they gave Ireland only 36%.

    Anyway, with all the hatred that’s been spewing here in the UK over the last year with regard to Gay Marriage, that 77% feels a bit odd. I guess it reflects the legislation that protects us though, rather than the level of homophobia that exists.

    1. Tim Hopkins 16 May 2013, 1:12pm

      See this for a table of the individual law/policy areas that score points in ILGA-Europe’s calculation for each country:

      Tomorrow, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency will publish the results of a survey of 93,000 LGBT people across the EU, about their experiences of discrimination and hate crime. I suspect we’ll see that although the UK has on average has the best LGBT laws / national policies (although not the best in some areas, eg marriage), we are not best in the EU for discrimination and prejudice.

    2. The “debate” in the UK has been unkind, prejudiced, bigoted, and short-sighted at times: but to call it “hatred” does a disservice to those LGBT folks living in the “red” countries who literally go in fear daily.

      The O’Briens and Burrowes of this world say some nasty things but they stop short of overt hate: because we – happily – have laws against hate speech.

    3. Hatred in UK is confined to a tiny (but loud) minority – there was no big protests against gay marriage (compare that to France) and generally levels of homophobia are very low.

  7. What I can’t understand, is that some countries/ cities in Europe, like London, Paris, the USA, Canada and Australia have some of the most advanced LGBT rights laws and have the strongest advocates, activists and allies. Yet on the ground, LGBT people minding their own business get physically and/ or verbally abused.

    On the flip side, many countries in Asia including India, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, S. Korea and Singapore either have very limited or no LGBT rights laws and it some cases anti-sodomy laws (like in my country, Singapore). But the thought of being bashed or verbally abused at 1a.m. on any given evening is quite literally unheard of. A flamboyant gay man or butch lesbian might get curious stares, giggles or shaking of heads, but almost never ever beatings.

    I have been to London, NYC, Paris, Berlin, Toronto, Sydney. As well as Tokyo, Seoul, New Delhi, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok. I have felt safer walking the streets of the latter 6 cities than the former ones.

    1. Christopher in Canada 16 May 2013, 5:06pm

      There may be a machismo factor missing. Generalizing blatantly, but the Eastern Cultures value wisdom and self control. Western cultures have had too much John Wayne and Sylvester Stallone in their backgrounds.

    2. So many factors to take into account there: the sense of public decorum (or not), the sense of entitlement to voice your opinion as opposed to the value placed on minding one’s own business, alcohol, religion, one’s economic status (it’d be interesting to know how safe and free from abuse a flamboyant gay man without much money in New Delhi or Kuala Lumpur would feel). Anglo-Saxon cultures do seem, curiously, to have strongest tensions between increasingly liberal laws and tribal violence.

  8. I like how the entire UK is the same shade despite Northern Ireland gays having less rights
    Lack of research?

    1. Agreed but you would hope the UK’s figure would take Northern Ireland’s different laws into account. We still have 23% to achieve.

    2. You could say the same about Spain and Italy and probably loads of other countries too. It’s incorporated into the rating of the larger country.

    3. Equality Network 16 May 2013, 3:25pm

      It’s not a lack of research – ILGA-Europe were aware of the different laws in each of the three legal jursidictions in the UK. The 77% is a combined score, based on giving 3/4 of the full score for an area of law where not all of the UK has it. Calculated separately, the different parts of the UK score: England & Wales 80%; Scotland 79%; Northern Ireland 67%

  9. The map image used in the article appears to be cropped. The article does not provide an external link to the full version of the map. What if we want to see it?

    1. Equality Network 16 May 2013, 3:35pm

      Hmm this reply may end up being a duplicate, as my previous one has not appeared, after several refreshes! If so, I apologise. If you want to see the whole Rainbow Map, you can find it at this location:

      It’s a big pdf file though!

  10. Hungary “causing major concern”? Even a cursory look at the map shows it’s one of the best-performing countries, with a score of 55 (similar to Germany and Iceland, better than Austria, Finland or Switzerland, and much better than anything in Eastern Europe).

    1. Unless you try a gay pride parade in budapest expect missile/army protection from the far right

  11. Here are direct links to the main documents:

    ILGA-Europe’s news release, with endorsements and links

    Colour-coded map of LGBTI rights in Europe

    Scoring sheets (one page flyers) for each European country in multiple languages

    Index table showing how each country’s scores was calculated

    Comprehensive report on LGBTI rights in Europe for 2013 (242 page pdf report)

  12. I am so proud that the UK is the most gay-friendly country in Europe.

    Russia is utterly shameful though. One of the few countries that is actually regressing on gay rights instead of progressing…

  13. The UK leads on rights for gay people? If this is true i’ll never leave the UK again. My and my mans experience of being gay in the UK has been one of daily abuse just for holding hands, dismissal from the police for reporting hate crime, beaten up, insidious discrimination and bigotry at work and accessing services. If the rest of Europe is much worse might as well tear up me passport now. Although the report did mention how LGBT visibility/behaviour is still repressed even in the more tolerant countries .

    1. But wouldn’t leaving the country and seeing other cultures (and the difficulties other gay people may face elsewhere) for yourself help put things in perspective? Don’t forget homosexuality was only (partially) decriminalised here 46 years ago – attitudes don’t change overnight. I would also suggest there are very few, if any, minorities in any culture anywhere in the world that feel wholly accepted.

      1. Rehan,

        A friend left the UK and said he would never come back. It’s only when you experience a culture that does not have the simmering hatred or tolerance as some people call it will you understand tolerance is not the same as acceptance. Hold hands or kiss your partner anywhere in the UK and you get look do it in London and you might get killed like Ian Bayham.

        He was in his 60’s and I can tell you 20 years ago the west end was a very safe place for us. All the nights I left heaven tanked and never felt threatened. now I’d think twice

        1. The Bayham murder was appalling, but what about Baxter and Cornish (who were thought to be gay by their attackers) in 1999? My point is that there are violent yobs everywhere and at any time; I just don’t know if you can really say things are worse today than they were in the past. Few same-sex couples would have even dared hold hands in the West End 20 years ago; now it’s a not uncommon sight.

          Where did your friend go that’s so much better than the UK?

        2. Yes I agree , I never see gay people even holding hands in Central London, and for those that do witness this rare event , it suggests it is such an uncommon sight to behold. But I did see two guys hold hands on Compton street recently, quite affectionate , was walking behind them, but on turning down wardour street onto Leicester square, they suddenly acted all self conscious and dropped the intimacy , was very obvious how uncomfortable they felt with being visibly gay outside the bubble of soho. Sad that they can only feel publicly gay in a bubble of Compton street, but not surprising. I do get your point how some are very insulated and detached to what’s really going on.

          1. It’s true the degree of comfort with same-sex PDAs seems to diminish with distance from certain points in London; but I’ve seen male couples snogging in St James’s Park (more than once), and frequently see same-sex couples holding hands in many parts of the West End, not just Old Compton Street, and Westminster to a complete absence of reaction from passers-by and children, which has its own implications. A friend of mine was recently on the Jubilee Line during the morning rush hour and was startled to see two blokeish guys, whose conversation about football had been boring him, kiss goodbye before one of them got off and waited on the platform to wave the other off.

            Of course it’s far from perfect and there’s a long, long way to go, no-one can deny that. But seriously, how many places can you say that are significantly better, let alone perfect, for gay people? Focusing relentlessly on the negative is not actually more realistic than being a total Pollyanna.

          2. I’ve held hands with a guy in Canary Wharf, Islington, Hampstead and all across zone 1 without any hassle from people.We need to start being visible, it’s not gonna be easy, but it’s the only way.

          3. @Bob It was my visibility to kiss in public that led to me getting my head stomped on, but still does not deter me. Either way ,it is a subjective test, you saying you just hold a guys hand in public and those around are so accepting to you in “nice” areas of London, I disagree that is the normal reaction here, from my experiences and those that recount theirs to me.
            But, I do agree with you on the lack of visibility and how we need to purport that more, that was what I was commenting on above, the way in which gay men in London adapt their behaviours out of fear of reprisal from the public.

  14. onesecond 5 Jul 2013, 3:35pm

    Why does Hungary score so high? Higher than Austria or Germany? Are you kidding me? Hungary?! With right wing homophobic Orban in charge, no legal protection and a constitutional change that only one woman and one man make a marriage? A ruling party that is full of homophobic language and a supporting population? Hungary???!!!

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