Love is love and humans deserve equal rights. These are facts many believe, but aren't always upheld and reflected by law. Here are the countries that deserve a big internet high-five for leading the charge in LGBT rights, creating a safe and inclusive culture.
Spain tops most lists for LGBT friendly countries thanks to it’s strong (and equal) stance on LGBT rights. In fact, in 2014 it was ranked against 40 other countries by the Pew Research Center and declared the world’s most LGBT-friendly nation. This is largely thanks to a whopping 94% of Spaniards polled saying they did not see homosexuality as unacceptable.
Spain also hosts one of the largest Pride parades in the world in Madrid every year that attracts a whopping 1.5 million people.
This European nation legalised same-sex relations back in 1983 and have continued supporting it ever since, allowing same-sex marriage in 2010, as well as letting their citizens change their gender on all legal documents.
It’s no secret that Iceland has some of the most progressive human rights laws in the world and that mentality has extended to LGBT rights too. Back in 2006, same-sex couples were given unequivocal equal rights with heterosexual couples, including marriage and adoption.
It’s been said there isn’t a ‘gay culture’ in Iceland, but many have attributed this to the fact that Iceland is so accepting of all LGBT persons and they’re not singled out in society, so there is no need for a ‘scene’ per se.
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While Germany’s decision on same-sex marriage is still pending (c’mon guys!), 87% of Germans polled in the Pew study said they looked favourably on homosexuality and did not see it as a moral issue at all.
Berlin especially enjoys a vivid and inclusive gay history dating back to the 1920s, and has some of the coolest LGBT clubs in the world.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada since 2003 and they also boast laws supporting same sex adoption and have banned all anti-gay propaganda. But wait, there’s more. Since 1992 Canada has allowed LGBT persons to serve openly in the military.
The festivals around gay rights are progressive and well attended in the country, with even President/Babe Justin Trudeau attending the Pride marches.
The Netherlands is credited with pioneering gay and lesbian rights thanks to being the first nation to legalise same-sex marriage. A huge win for the LGBT community, they’ve continued the good work by building a safe country for people of all sexual and gender orientations.
The population strongly supports LGBT persons and has firmly embraced the lifestyle in places like Amsterdam, which has one of the most inclusive (and fun) Pride parades in the world.
Despite a sad history of race discrimination, the country is making strides in the right direction when it comes to LGBT rights. They legalised same-sex marriage back in 2006 and allow people to change their legal gender after surgical or medical treatment.
Cape Town is quickly becoming a hot spot for gays and lesbians after it made it into the UK Guardian’s top 10 list of most popular gay destinations in the world.
They may be small, but New Zealand is progressive (and mighty). Legalising same-sex marriage in 2013, their anti-gay discrimination laws are all to the highest degree and backed by the United Nations.
While the queer scene is tiny by international standards, they have not let this stop them in giving all their citizens a chance to be fairly represented. There are also several members of Parliament who openly belong to the LGBT community.