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Nigeria named the most dangerous place for LGBT tourists, while Norway is the safest

Patrick Kelleher November 18, 2019
US airlines: File photo. A plane is seen next to a rainbow

File photo. A plane is seen next to a rainbow (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty)

A new study has found that Nigeria is the most dangerous country in the world for LGBT+ tourists, while the UK is the fourth safest.

Researchers at travel website Asher & Lyric compiled their list of the best and worst countries for tourists by examining LGBT+ rights in each country.

They examined issues such as the legality of same-sex relations in each country, whether same-sex couples can adopt there, and what protections are in place for LGBT+ workers.

Nigeria was given an ‘F’ grade and a score of 142. Homosexuality is illegal in Nigeria and is punished by up to 14 years in prison or the death penalty under Sharia law. Discussion about LGBT+  rights is also criminalised in Nigeria.

Qatar, Yemen, Saudi Arabi, Tanzania, Iran, Sudan, Barbados, Malaysia and Malawi rounded out the top 10 most dangerous countries for LGBT+ tourists to visit.

Norway came out as safest country for LGBT+ tourists in the study.

Meanwhile, Norway came out on top of the index as the safest country for LGBT+ travellers with a score of 307 and an ‘A’ grade. It was closely followed by Portugal and Belgium, with the UK in fourth place with a ‘B+’.

Somewhat surprisingly, the United States comes in at just 24 on the list of safest countries for LGBT+ tourists. Researchers put this down to the variation in LGBT+ protections between different states as well as the lack of constitutional protection for LGBT+ people.

To measure LGBTQ+ safety abroad, one cannot look only at data on whether or not same-sex marriage is legal and if anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination laws are in place.

However, Asher & Lyric pointed out that LGBT+ tourists should look past the data where possible to ensure their safety while travelling abroad.

“To measure LGBTQ+ safety abroad, one cannot look only at data on whether or not same-sex marriage is legal and if anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination laws are in place,” they wrote.

Queer people should look at culture in countries before visiting.

“It also depends on the general attitude of the culture, minutiae of the legal system, and oppression of LGBTQ+ rights. These issues can affect everything, from your ability to show public displays of affection to being able to share a hotel room bed to the capacity at which you can use dating apps without being caught by the local police.

“A few items on our list, such as adoption recognition and worker protections may not affect LGBTQ+ travelers directly, but these factors are a good indication of overall attitudes within the culture.”

They also warn LGBT+ tourists to be particularly careful in countries where homosexuality is illegal where even kissing or holding hands in public can lead to fines or imprisonment.

Researchers noted that 45 of the 67 countries where homosexuality is illegal were former British colonies. Most of those countries’ anti-gay laws were introduced while they were a part of the British Empire.

More: lgbt tourists, Nigeria, Norway, United Kingdom

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